Brian Bizub | (561) 309-7855 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Advisor, Director of Service Line Development and Practice
In today’s rapidly changing health care environment, incredible importance must be placed on having the right administrative team in place to maximize efficiencies and implement best practices. Orthopedic practices are always looking for innovative ways to simultaneously drive volume, maximize revenue, improve patient satisfaction, promote employee engagement, and optimize clinical outcomes in order to stay competitive in the market place.
Traditionally, physician group practices do not consider Interim Practice Management Consulting services to be very beneficial to their business. However, the value and return on investment can be tremendous, and the guidance can be delivered using a very cost effective approach at a time when guidance is critical due to unanticipated occurrences. Your practice has already financially planned for having an administrator in place. This allows for an ideal opportunity to have external experts provide you with assistance until you find a permanent solution. Interim Practice Management consulting teams can objectively analyze and assess how business is being conducted, and identify both challenges and opportunities via interviews, observation, and by facilitating a practice comprehensive strategic planning process.
Extending this, what if this service could be delivered by a team of active real world administrators that are seasoned in making decisions that your practice is faced with making now. Your assessment is then completed by administrators that are currently working in orthopedic physician group practices. This can be extremely effective as these advisors live in the world of practice administration today. Because of this, they are often more effective at identifying strategies over advisors that are seasoned, but have been removed from the day-to-day operations of a physician practice. The non-practicing consultant’s teams often have difficulty delivering strategies that work well in physician practices because of the lack of connection with the interworking of a practice in real time.
Unlike the hospital environment, physician practice administrators are constantly balancing the needs of the patients, physicians, and the management of a business model that is experiencing declining reimbursements and pressure from working smarter with less of a labor force. This is all occurring in the face of the ever-changing regulatory compliance concerns. Interim Practice Management consulting teams can assist the practice in adapting core business with operations to create or strengthen business lines and ensure regulatory compliance. Many smaller group practices have not had the resources or have unknowingly mismanaged the business by implementing less than optimal processes that may have impacted the financial strength of the practice. Dedicated and loyal employees that have moved up the career ladder find themselves struggling with the higher demands of patients, regulatory agencies, process improvement, declining reimbursements, federal programs, and the present reality of managing the impact of Obama Care.
Integrating Interim Practice Management consulting teams also allows you to take a comprehensive approach to best practices through ensuring that the business model in place is the right model for the organization. This implementation of best practices should include, but not be limited to the following areas:
- Service line development
- Compensation model design
- Operational processes
- Ancillary service optimization
- Revenue cycle management
- Payor contracting, negotiating, and credentialing
- EMR implementation and optimization
- Policy development
- Hospital affiliations
- Healthcare information technology
- Analytic utilization
- Budget development
Interim Practice Management teams rely very heavily on analytics as they make their recommendations and provide guidance. As you know, strong analytics can assist a practice in recruitment, revenue cycle management, and in finding solutions that are crucial for process improvement across the entire organization. Analytics also allows for the development and implementation of well thought-out workflows and strategies that may extend outside of day-to-day operations. A large part of an initial assessment involves looking at the organization as a whole from an analytic perspective. This analysis must include all aspects of the practice. This may include real estate investments, ancillaries, patient clinical outcomes, revenue cycle management, workflows, staffing, and EMR utilization. The use of analytics has proven to be the greatest asset a modern organization can have as they optimize the function of their practice and make decisions. If used effectively, analytics will allow a practice to gain greater leverage with insurance payors and ACO’s, while enhancing bundled payment margins and the overall revenue cycle. Analytics can also assist dramatically in physician recruitment, patient education, and in providing tools to make informed decisions that result in measurable improvements in operations and efficiencies throughout the organization.
Interim Practice Management teams also place great emphasis on assisting in revenue cycle management. This is often the most complex and challenging process within a physician practice. Economic challenges and factors, such as declining reimbursement, sequestration, and forthcoming penalties for not meeting regulatory changes can place extraordinary pressures on the physicians, management team, and employees. Leaders need to be up-to-date with the changing demands and alternative approaches to integrate change without drastically affecting the day-to-day operations of the practice. Leaders and advisors need to be well versed in thinking outside of the traditional way of doing business and must appreciate that changing business models such as super group formation, hospital system collaboration, bundled payment implementation, and pay-for-performance are all impacting future service delivery.
Quality leadership in a physician practice is essential to stay ahead of the dramatic changes in the healthcare environment. Physician practices may have difficulty being able to recruit or afford such individuals, which can leaves gaps in management and can cause great damage to the practice. Physician group practice should review their structure and determine if their team is capable of taking the practice to the next level. If not, Interim Practice Management Consulting may be the short term answer and could result in a long-term solution that creates a stronger practice model and establishes a structure and strategy for the future.