If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time to join my upcoming webinar on patient collections on 9/23/14 (9AM/12PM). "Front Desk Collections: the New Linchpin of Practice Profitability" is sponsored by Wellero and hosted by Physicians Practice. It's free! Register here.
Sending a key staff member - whether a biller or a practice manager - to a medical practice management or billing conference can seem like an expensive perk. It can be an especially difficult decision for a small practice. But there's just no substitute for the learning and connections that are possible by spending a few days at a high quality conference. Case in point. I just returned from the HBMA conference, where I presented to about 200 motivated and engaged billing service managers and owners. Attending as a speaker gave me the opportunity to listen in on some of the other speakers, and to hear attendee feedback. Now, the HBMA is a vibrant organization that provides plenty of valuable information throughout the year through its list-serv, payer-focused groups, and other resources. But the conference adds another layer of value -- and it does it very efficiently. For example, I sat in on a presentation about changes in bundled payments and other coding and payment issues -- including the four new modifiers the CMS recently announced. Everyone in the room valued an update on this (so far, still confusing) new information from the CMS. When you're working by yourself in your practice office, juggling all the normal day-to-day tasks and priorities, it can be all-but-impossible to get a clear answer on some of these kinds of issues. Programs like PQRS and PCMH are very difficult to parse through alone; it's hard to feel confident that you're on the right track, and the consequences are expensive. Being taught by an expert at a conference can be a lot cheaper than going it alone and getting it wrong. Of course, not all conferences are created equal. Be picky. Choose events by respected organizations, with well-regarded speakers. Review the agenda to be sure it hits the topics most relevant to your practice. And don't forget to consider the value of the audience: conference networking creates connections that can help your managers get help problem-solving long after the conference ends. So think about who will be there when selecting. It might cost a bit
Front desk collections are more important than ever before. Trends in insurance plan terms mean that patients are more responsible for the cost of their care than at any time in recent memory. Mastering front desk collections is not just a way to be more profitable -- it's essential to maintaining any level of profitability and keeping your practice healthy! And there are important implications for patient relationships, too. This is why my new, free webinar is called "Front Desk Collections: the New Linchpin of Profitability." It's simply essential that front desk staff are empowered to fulfill this critical task. To learn more about the whys and hows of collecting from patients at the time of service, join me on September 23. I'll share some of my observations about how to optimize your front desk collections, plus there will be time for any question you'd like to ask. Join me for "Front Desk Collections: the New Linchpin of Practice Profitability" on 9/23/14 (9AM/12PM) -- sponsored by Wellero and hosted by Physicians Practice. It's free! Register here.
Group visits can be a great complement to many medical practices that provides many benefits. The emergence of group visits, sometimes referred to as shared medical appointments (SMAs), began when physicians and their managers recognized access for patients with chronic illnesses was inadequate. Patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD and diabetes ended up coming in when their symptoms were exacerbated and out of control. This was either because they couldn’t get an appointment sooner or they were simply non-compliant with keeping regular appointments. Their health condition was being compromised and physicians were frustrated because there was not enough time to address complications sufficiently during the typical time allotted on the schedule. Group visits enable a practice to bring a small group of patients with the same disease together to discuss the common issues they share and how to better manage their chronic condition. At the same time, each of the attendees has individual time with the physician or other provider for an examination and specific treatment recommendations. In 2002 this was defined as a revolutionary access solution in a Group Practice Journal article authored by Edward B. Noffsinger, PhD, a pioneer in the development of group visits. The first clinical applications of this mod Many patients like the group practice visit and getting support from people that share their problems. It can be very affirming. The shared visit often contributes to improved compliance, as some patients report their condition improving when they adhered to their treatment regime. It’s a win for the patients, the practice and the payer as access improves, cost of care goes down and better clinical outcomes are achieved. Physicians can actually see more patients in less time and the practice gets paid for the level of care provided, since each patient is billed the same as an individual appointment and the co-pay amount remains unchanged. The insurance companies don’t seem to care as much about where the patient is seen as they do about the level of service the patient is getting. It is expected that the group visits will expand rapidly to provide