| Nelly Gamboa – Administrator for Union County Cardiology Associates |
Running a practice requires not just successfully caring for our patients, but managing efficient operations to ultimately make a profit. Not only are we trying to tackle healthcare reform changes and requirements, we’re seeing an influx of patients — many of whom are newly eligible to receive care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which brings added work.
As I’m sure you can relate, the four doctors at my practice have a passion for healing, not poring through mounds of paperwork and fine-print legal language. I didn’t want that either as I pursued my career as a practice administrator.
The solution? We strive keep the doctor’s focus on the patient and his or her care, and my office staff and I concentrate on running a successful business.
For a smaller practice like ours, that sometimes means outsourcing work. While I was skeptical of doing so at first, there are many benefits to outsourcing when it’s done with the right people and practices.
Consider these key points when outsourcing office work:
- Is there a hybrid workflow model offered? Does the company have both automated technology solutions and staffing solutions? Doubling up will keep your operations streamlined and keep you from vendor overload. For example, does the vendor have the ability to monitor productivity on your staff’s computer with plug-and-play technology, as well as people dedicated to appointment confirmation phone calls?
- Does the company have proven results? While anyone can claim they have saved practices any given percentage, don’t be afraid to ask for case studies and client references to validate such claims.
- Can the company handle claims, authorizations and eligibility? Having a full end-to-end portfolio of solutions will show that the vendor understands the workflow.
- Can you keep your staff numbers as they are? You outsource work to save time and staff hours. If the outsourcing company requires so much input that you need to dedicate a staff member to it, it’s counterintuitive.
- Will you be able to see reports? The right reports will help identify trends in denials. Will you also receive revenue reports? Will you be able to pinpoint down to the doctor and procedure what is making your business successful or costing you money?
- Is the company accountable and accessible? When I chose our vendor, ClinicSpectrum, I knew I would receive a response to my inquiry within one hour from a dedicated point of contact.
Learn as much as you can about the options and benefits of outsourcing back-office work from accounts receivable to appointment reminders. Remember that healthcare continues to grow more complex and the patients keep coming in the door. Help your physicians sustain their efforts on patient interfacing and care. Find a reliable, nimble and effective back-office solutions company to do the heavy lifting for you.
Nelly Gamboa is administrator for Union County Cardiology Associates in Union, N.J.