Top 10 Steps Toward Physician Practice Optimization

November 1, 2016

Some call it a mystery.  Physicians who once operated sustainable private practices are losing up to $200,000 or more per year as employed health system providers in the same community.  What has changed for these providers?  There is a strategic disconnect.

Reversing this trend requires that hospitals and health systems employ a number of strategies to engage physicians and become more process-oriented.  The following strategies have the power to reduce employed physician losses by 20 to 30 percent. Networks with several hundred providers can potentially save millions of dollars.

10 Steps Toward Physician Practice Optimization

  1. Engage Providers: articulate a clear vision for the network, and ensure that your providers have transparent data at an organizational, practice and individual level. 
  2. Prepare for Evolving Payment Methods: keep your physician practices informed so they can react and adapt to new ways of generating revenue.
  3. Gain Physician Input: identify provider leaders who can give you formal and informal counsel on key issues regarding the direction of the provider network.
  4. Align Production and Compensation: employ national and regional benchmarks as well as service and delivery standards to determine compensation levels.
  5. Ensure Patient/Provider Access: clarify employment contract terms with providers, including clinical time, no show and cancellation rates, and overall fill capacity.
  6. Document Precisely: train physicians on how to accurately code and document care to maximize their wRVU-based compensation and overall organizational revenue.
  7. Optimize Revenue Cycle: maximize office staff’s training to ensure collection of co-pays, deductibles and outstanding balances at the time of service, reducing cost and speeding cash flow. 
  8. Evaluate Payer Contracts: assess your payer contract rates against Medicare as well as local, regional and national benchmarks regularly.
  9. Manage Practice Expense: measure overall support staff performance against internal and third-party benchmarks to ensure optimal staff size and productivity.
  10. Referral Retention: identify and manage internal and external referral sources to determine patterns, prompt retention and avoid unnecessary competitive referrals.

Maximizing practice performance is a science as well as an art. To learn more on physician practice optimization, read the full white paper here.   

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