Physicians Billing Service Newsletter - March

MARCH 2014
Distilled
Must-Read
News on
Medical
Billing
OBAMA
ADMINISTRATION
WANTS TO CHANGE HOW
DOCTORS ARE PAID
(PAGE 2)
5 STRATEGIES
TO COMPETE WITH
MINUTE CLINICS
(PAGE 2)
5 STEPS
TO MANAGING YOUR
PRACTICE’S REVENUE CYCLE
IN 2015
(PAGE 3)
Wall Street Journal
Affordable Care Act Enrollment Nears 11.7 Million
In March, the Wall Street Journal reported on enrollment progress for the Affordable Care Act. A
summary of the highlights:
•“Nearly 11.7 million people signed up for health coverage in state
and federal marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act”. The article
notes that this number does not necessary include the payment of
premiums.
•50% of the enrollment came from new enrollees.
•“Nearly 7.7 million of the new and
returning consumers on the federal
exchange qualified for an average tax
credit of $263.
• Supreme Court Challenge: the Supreme Court recently heard (March
4) a “challenge to subsidies through the HealthCare.gov”. The court’s
decision is expected in June 2015.
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“Nearly 7.7 million of
the new & returning
consumers on the
federal exchange
qualified for an average
tax credit of $263 a
month.”
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MARCH 2014
Washington Post
The Obama Administration Wants to Dramatically
Change How Doctors are Paid
The Washington Post recently shed insight on how the Obama
Administration wants to dramatically change how doctors are paid.
Journalist Jason Milman reports “rather than pay more money to
Medicare doctors simply for every procedure they perform, the
government will also evaluate whether patients are healthier, among
other measures. The goal is for half of all Medicare payments to be
handled this way by 2018.”
While on the surface, tying quality care to outcomes makes sense to many,
many physicians have expressed concerns that the Affordable Care
Act continues to vilify physicians for outcomes that are well beyond
their control – diet, exercise, the actions of pharmaceutical
companies and medical device companies, etc.
The American Medical Association’s President, Robert Wah notes
that the organization has “become increasingly concerned by
bureaucratic requirements”. He is quoted as saying – “There is a
great deal of regulatory and administrative burden on [doctors]
currently.” “We’re in a period of great change, and great change
causes anxiety.”
Five Strategies to
Compete with Retail Clinics
As you are aware, a preponderance of retail medical clinics have ‘popped-up’ to offer a great amount
of convenience to consumers seeking medical care.
How do you compete with ‘Minute Clinics’ & Others?
Clinics, such as Minute Clinics, are typically located in major drug store chains including CVS and
they are nurturing a substantial customer base. Notably, the retail clinic customer does not generally
have a relationship with a medical practice or physician. So what can be learned from retail medical
clinics?
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MARCH 2014
Five Common Sense Recommendations to
Compete with Retail Clinics:
1. “Delivery access, convenience and appreciation”.
Don’t take your medical practice’s customer base for
granted. Remind your patients that your medical practice
exists because of them and you welcome their question and
suggestions.
2. “Promote quality”. Physicians have worked hard to earn
their reputation. Remind your patients of your commitment
to exceptional quality care.
3. Provide excellent service. Let your patients know that
in additional to excellent, quality care, you also strive for
exceptional service. Remind your medical practice’s staff that your patients pay their salaries.
Welcome your patients, follow-up, accommodate them, and most importantly, thank them.
4. Practice defensible medicine. In this age of a litigious society, don’t fall prey to practicing
‘defensive medicine’. Offer exceptional patient care by explaining the medical process, tests and
treatments to them. By involving them in the process, including transparency on costs, you are
training a more educated patient that will appreciate a higher level of engagement with the
Physician and the medical practice staff.
5. Keep your commitments. Your medical practice and each physician is a brand. A brand is as
simple as ‘making a promise to your patients’ and ‘keeping that promise’.
5 Steps to Managing Your Medical Practice’s
Revenue Cycle in 2015
Many clients of Physicians Billing Service are you
looking for insights to manage their medical practice’s
revenue cycle in 2015.
Recently, Physicians Practice featured an excellent
article on looking at KPIs (key performance indicators)
to manage the rapidly changing “payment
environment”. Journalist Owen Dahl highlights “there has been a significant increase in the size of
outstanding patient balances”, noting “this is in spite of
the increase in insurance coverage due to the
healthcare exchanges”.
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MARCH 2014
The article makes several excellent suggestions that are worth implementing:
1. Update your medical practice’s financial policy (in your office & on your web site) stating
“payments are due prior to seeing the provider”.
2. Actively monitor your daily collections report that highlights you schedule of patients and
their respective payments. Work with your outsourced medical billing company to assist you in
reviewing this report and implementing best practices.
3. Involve your medical practice’s front desk / receptionist to ensure that they have
accurate visibility into each patient’s “copay, deductible, and past due balances”.
4. Make sure that each “appointment-reminder”, whether automated or by your staff,
reminds your patients that they are responsible for paying their co-pay in advance.
5. Review your guidelines to ensure that your staff has procedures in place on whether or now
you see / treat patients if they cannot pay their co-pay in advance. Mr. Dahl advices checking with
your malpractice carrier to “provide guidance in terms of not seeing a scheduled patient due to
lack of payment”.
To read “Managing Your Practice’s Revenue Cycle in 2015″, visit the Physician Practice web site.
QUESTIONS?
Excellence in Outsourcing Medical Billing & Collections
At Physicians Billing Service, we are committed to helping physicians with
outsourcing medical billing and collections. The more we can improve
Physicians’s workflow, the more they can be focused on providing
outstanding healthcare to their patients.
For feedback and suggestions, please call 703-978-0756 to speak with
Michelle Stahl, Owner. All input, suggestions and questions are welcomed and
appreciated.
To read detailed articles, visit: medicalbillingandcollection.com/medical-billing-service-news
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