Profitable Medical Practice Management Strategies

Now that health insurance reform has passed, good medical practice management is more important than ever. With a projected increased workload for the same or perhaps even less pay, how well you manage things may well be the key to keeping your practice
afloat financially.

Profitable Medical Practice Management Strategies

It’s a true shame that primary care physicians have to spend so much time and energy on management just to get paid. I’m not a physician, but before becoming a wealth management consultant, I was a medical sales rep. I have nothing but respect for doctors, especially for the primary care doctors who are on health care’s front lines.

Profitable Medical Practice Management Strategies

The sad thing is that the profession as a whole isn’t getting the respector the reimbursementsit deserves, and in my opinion the recently-passed reform legislation isn’t going to help. With that in mind, I’ve been doing some research into practice management and have found some good tips from Physicians Practice and ModernMedicine, two online magazines for physicians.

Profitable Medical Practice Management Strategies

As a physician, you can qualify for $ 44,000 over 5 years under Medicare or $ 63,750 over 6 years through Medicaid for making your practice a meaningful user of electronic health care records (EHRs). But you have to be careful because of the hefty, HIPAA-mandated fines for not keeping private information secure. Be sure to do a lot of research before choosing an electronic medical record system to adopt for your practice.

Profitable Medical Practice Management Strategies

Do what you can to keep staff turnover low. Use management strategies like small rewards, making sure your staff are all well trained, and doing your best to have the right person in the right job. You may even save money by paying staff a bit more, considering that it can cost your practice anywhere from $ 3 to $ 4 thousand dollars every time someone quits.

The recession is making it even more important to collect payment from patients up front. Obviously, you want to help people who are struggling because of the economy. But to keep your practice sound financially you’re going to need to manage the balance between helping and getting paid what your work is worth. And rememberyour staff is counting on you for their salaries, too.

Be sure to automate everything you can. An automated patient-reminder system, for example, can save you on staff costs. Claims-scrubbing software can catch mistakes in billing that could lead to denied claims and thus increase your income.

Take time to learn about upcoming changes in coding regulations. There are more than 200 changes in 2010 that you should be aware of. Again, we all know that health insurers and the government will seize on any reason to deny your claims. You certainly don’t need to help them!

I still think it’s sad that primary care doctors have to spend so much time managing their practices, sometimes at the expense of patient care. In an ideal world, primary care physicians in particular would be left alone to do the work theyve spent years and over $ 100K training to do.

But since medical practice management is part of the jobif only to learn enough so you can hire and supervise an expert managerthe best thing is to learn everything you need to learn and apply it so you can keep your practice profitable. I hope these tips help!

Jen Gilbert is a physician wealth management consultant and Internet entrepreneur. She helps primary care physicians achieve their financial goals through education, information, and motivation. Previously a highly successful medical sales representative, Jen founded her consulting business to help busy physicians position themselves for a secure financial future. For more information, visit her website at www.physicianwealthstrategies.net.

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