One Day We Will Ask Ourselves Why

Written on August 5, 2015

The main mission of a medical practice is to provide care to its patients. That care provision has always been provided in a quality fashion, using just the right amount of medical services. But your efficient, quality care is now the subject of monitoring and reporting as if the payers thought that physicians were members of an organized crime syndicate. This Federal and commercial oversight has so consumed the attention and energies of medical administrators that there is little time to focus on the increasing difficulties of billing for medical services and collecting money. Maybe it is time to limit your focus to the singular practice mission of care provision.

If someone who knew nothing about American medical practice management started a practice today without seeking common practice advice, they might set up only the clinical practice and outsource most other duties. After a patient was seen or a procedure completed, the billing company would handle everything until the cash was in the bank. Staffing for billing and collections, billing software, coding training, billing compliance, ICD-10 conversion, accounts receivable collections and other revenue essentials would be performed by the practice revenue company for a predetermined percentage of collections. The revenue company would put a person in your office to collect all amounts possible from the patients at the time of service, similar to clinical labs who station their employed phlebotomist in a medical practice to draw blood.

The revenue cycle outsourcing company would provide E&M frequency comparisons, procedure volumes and diagnostic results for each doctor as well as counsel your docs about utilization risks and opportunities. Each physician would have a dashboard indicator on their cell phone which would inform them of their cumulative production for the current day, week and month. This would communicate whether the doctor had covered their share of practice overhead, earned their own salary and benefits and was producing well enough for a bonus to be received later. If their production fell to levels too low to cover their overhead and base pay, their cell phone alarm would be set to go off an hour earlier every morning until the production deficit was taken care of by their efforts. The cell phone would play the song “We Are the Champions” in its entirety without an ability to turn it off.

The point is that when you try to do too many things, you generally do none of them as well as if you focus on your main mission. Perhaps the better part of wisdom is to begin moving non medicine tasks out of the office and become the best in your specialty at quality of care, efficiency of care cost, with patients who think you are the Ritz Carlton of medicine.


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