According to Becker’s Healthcare, the average physician practice writes off over $30,000 in unpaid medical bills each year. Even more surprising is that 28% of physician practices have no idea how much they are or should be writing off. With the changes and challenges of healthcare reimbursement, ignoring these figures is no longer an option and instead is the difference between staying in business or independent. To be able to keep your practice running efficiently and successfully, one must adapt to the changes and start getting creative to increase payments and decrease A/R time.

The most recent OCR publication stresses the importance of a contingency plan for your organization to return to its daily operations as quickly as possible after an unforeseen event.  The contingency plan protects resources, minimizes patient inconvenience and identifies key staff, assigning specific responsibilities in the context of the recovery.

CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have established standards and other criteria for structured data that EHRs must meet in order to qualify as Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) for use in the Medicare MIPS and Medicaid Meaningful Use Programs. There are currently two certification editions: 2014 and 2015. This certification, along with the program you are participating in, will determine what your reporting requirements are.  

Since 2016, there has been a major surge in ransomware targeted directly at healthcare organizations, as we saw with the international “WannaCry” ransomware attack that struck 150 countries and crippled thousands of healthcare organizations, including in the U.S. in May, 2017. Ransomware remains the number one security concern in 2018 among security professionals. 

After some much needed rest and relaxation with family and friends, these first weeks of 2018 offer a great opportunity to get your practice off on the right foot! Much as you would make personal New Year’s resolutions, there are a few practice resolutions that can help start your office off on the right track and keep it running smoothly into the rest of the year.

Resolution #1: Close out your 2017

The term “outsourcing” is one that carries some fear for many small practices. It implies a loss of control or autonomy which, for an independent physician group, does not pair well with the desire to go into private practice in the first place.

However, today’s healthcare environment presents many unique challenges that can get in the way of independent practices’ ability to remain profitable without making sacrifices to care quality or work/life balance. As such, revenue cycle services provided by trusted billing companies like eMDs have increased dramatically in popularity.

Prescribing controlled substances is as easy or difficult as YOU want to make it.

Three years ago, when my group of nine family doctors considered starting electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS), a healthy debate ensued on the pros and cons of the new workflow. On one side, we had the advancing technology, which streamlined processes, resulted in less paper, and provided easy access for patients. On the other side, we had concerns that an easier process for patients and doctors might enhance abuse and overuse, and reduce oversight.

Citing resources from Stanford, Michigan Medical School, and a recently published study by the American Hospital Association, Healthcare IT News posits that the next big trend in healthcare may just be the growth of “bring your own data” by patients as they visit their healthcare providers.

Most eMDs practices encounter the Training and Implementation Department when they first purchase eMDs software, but our commitment to clients extends well past their go-live date. The department is made up of three distinct teams:

The end of the month serves as a great time to take stock of your practice’s overall performance, identify problems, and track improvement in key areas since the end of the previous month. While it is of course important to utilize the right tools and processes in managing your office on a daily basis, you cannot hope to improve without actually tracking changes and trends over longer periods of time.

Specifically, at the end of every month, you should be reviewing three main areas: financial performance, clinical outcomes, and office productivity.