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SELLING THE PRACTICE

Due diligence in practice acquistions and physician employment

By John W. McDaniel Many hospitals and healthcare organizations are being approached by private practice physicians and physician groups seeking refuge from the unstable state of the healthcare economy and what lies ahead. While many healthcare organizations are employing physicians in order to solidify their market position, others (particularly in rural areas) find this method of physician recruitment most effective in terms of their overall medical staff development plans. Regardless of the reasons why hospitals and/or physicians are seeking to affiliate with one another, one of the most critical components to ensure that a successful transition occurs is performing a Due Diligence Analysis of prospective medical practices. Some of the most critical due diligence components which are a part of any medical practice acquisition are as follows: Rights to Payment… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

How medical practices can improve pricing transparency

By Tolu Ajiboye At least 10 million Americans have lost their health insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic and no longer have employer-sponsored health coverage linked to job loss as a result of the pandemic. With these shifts, more and more patients are paying for healthcare services out-of-pocket. Patients’ price sensitivity will also likely be heightened by these circumstances, which could have a negative impact on medication adherence. Consequently, it is critically important for medical practices to assess their current price transparency level and develop ways to improve it. Recent data reveals that nearly all patients want information about costs for healthcare services. An Accenture survey reported that “91% of consumers would like pricing information from providers in advance of care”. Here are some ways you can increase price transparency… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

5 steps for managing a clinic efficiently

By Tom Greenhalgh Improving medical office efficiency requires evaluation and planning. If you’re constantly running behind schedule and chaos is standard operating procedure, these 5 steps can help you get and keep your practice running smoothly. Track and observe First things first: spend a few weeks tracking the flow of patients through your practice. You’ll want to know how many patients you see each day, how much time you spend with each patient, how many patients are there for the first time, and which days are most popular for first-time visits. This information can help you identify when your patient load is at or over capacity and allot an appropriate amount of time for each visit. Offer online scheduling The majority of medical practices that offer online scheduling see a… . . . read more.

WORKING WITH PATIENTS

5 ways to boost health literacy, improve medication compliance

By Lisa A. Eramo Let’s face it. Prescription medications are difficult to pronounce, and their regimens can be complex. Take three Pill As with food, one Pill B in the morning, and two Pill Cs right before bed. For patients with multiple chronic conditions and/or dementia, these challenges are even greater. They may find themselves asking, “Why am I even taking this medication? Perhaps it’s okay to skip a dose once in a while.” What’s something that can make a big difference in terms of medication compliance (i.e., taking medications on schedule and as prescribed)? Health literacy. Only 12% of U.S. adults have the health literacy skills needed to manage the demands of our complex health care system. When stress or illness comes into play, the ability to absorb and use health… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

The growing importance of value-based care during COVID-19

Lisa A. Eramo bio Quality over quantity. It’s the fundamental concept behind value-based care (VBC). Providers are paid for rendering care that improves outcomes and lowers costs. During COVID-19, VBC is critical, and in many ways, the transition couldn’t have emerged at a better time. Here are five reasons why: Skyrocketing healthcare costs Healthcare costs have been on the rise long before the pandemic struck, and they certainly haven’t slowed down. VBC incentivizes providers to cut costs by using lower-cost—but equally as effective—drugs and devices. Practices can work with their life science reps to learn more about the value proposition for certain medications, devices, and more. VBC also incentivizes providers to perform procedures in lower-cost settings (i.e., outpatient vs. inpatient facilities). Each of these actions will help level out the… . . . read more.

HIPAA

New OCR data shed light on the costs of privacy noncompliance

HIPAA enforcement isn’t nearly as fat a cash cow as enforcement of False Claims Act (FCA) and other healthcare fraud laws is, it still takes a lot of money out of the pockets of providers and into the hands of the federal government. But tracking the economics of HIPAA enforcement is tough because the government doesn’t publish data on HIPAA recovery amounts the way it does with the FCA. However, new data from the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has recently emerged that offers some rare insight into the dollars and cents of HIPAA enforcement over the past two decades. Here are some of the key figures, which encompass April 2003, when HIPAA first began being enforced, through 2020: $129,722,482: Total amount of civil penalties and settlements collected by… . . . read more.

CMS

Two new telehealth resources for your practice and your patients

In response to the increased use and expanded coverage of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, From Coverage to Care (C2C) released two new resources to support providers and patients in making the most of virtual care: Telehealth for Providers: What You Need to Know – Providers can learn how and when to use telehealth. Topics include how to set up telehealth services, how to conduct a successful visit, and how to keep up to date on telehealth payment (particularly for Medicare and Medicaid). Telehealth: What to Know for Your Family – Patients can find out the types of care they can receive through telehealth, how to prepare for an appointment, what to expect during a visit, and more. This resource is also available in Spanish. Providers and partners can download graphics to post… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

How to proactively communicate COVID-19 FAQs to patients

By Lisa A. Eramo bio COVID-19 has forced medical practices nationwide to embrace change as well as rethink workflows and care delivery. Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available, practice managers have even more to ponder—particularly how to communicate with patients about vaccine-related FAQs. Only 46% of respondents to a recent survey said they plan to get the vaccine. Many questions remain for those who aren’t sure or who definitely don’t plan to take it, and providers must be well-positioned to instill and build confidence. They must also be prepared to answer logistical questions such as how and when to make an appointment for the vaccine. Providing critical information all in one place helps avoid tying up the practice’s phone lines or generating a large number of email messages through the patient portal…. . . . read more.

TECHNOLOGY

5 tech resources improving medical practice efficiency this year

By Alison Foster bio There was a notable increase in the adoption of healthcare technology by practices and providers in 2020. This continues in 2021, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up. Many practices are short on both human and financial resources and need to increase efficiency to the maximum. Here are some forms of healthcare technology you can rely on to optimize your practice’s efficiency in 2021. Cloud computing Keeping patient data safe and accessible is critical in healthcare. Traditional methods of storing patient data often have challenging retrieval and sharing processes. Cloud computing solves many of these problems and is fast becoming the go-to choice for many practices. Electronic health records stored on the clouds means that providers and authorized personnel can access patient data… . . . read more.

MANAGING PATIENTS

Putting patients first is the best way of enhancing the doctor-patient relationship

By Dr. Neil Baum bio There is nothing in my practice of medicine that equals the joy of focusing on my patients and making every effort to ensure each encounter fosters a positive experience. Well, maybe one thing: positive outcomes. In my experience, the patients with whom I’ve developed close and trusting relationships seem to be better at following treatment plans, which helps improve positive outcomes. For decades, research has found strong indicators that the quality of the doctor-patient relationship impacts health outcomes. One significant finding is that the physician’s knowledge of the patient’s disorders and emotional state is associated positively with whether the physical ailments get resolved. Evidence shows that patients who feel they are not heard or are not respected by their doctors suffer poorer outcomes. A study from Massachusetts General Hospital… . . . read more.


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