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MediGain Blog

Ambulatory surgery center (ASC) finances are comprised of several different factors. ASC administrators can look for ways to improve their bottom lines in each. Reimbursement is, of course, the main source of revenue, and supply chain management is likely to be a significant cause of expenses. Revenue cycle management and supply-chain management go hand-in-hand for a successful ASC. There are methods ASC administrators can use to increase revenue and decrease costs in these areas and create a more financially healthy ASC.

Surgery is now a $500 billion industry in the U.S., with 80 to 100 million procedures performed each year, according to NBC News. The price of surgery has increased, as the per-capita rate of surgery in the U.S. is 50 percent greater than in the European Union. This trend has several driving factors, including safer technologies that are often more expensive to use and reimbursement trends in the healthcare space.

The Affordable Care Act may impact medical reimbursement for your small medical practice, both positively and negatively. The Congressional Budget Office projects there will be 13 million people enrolled in health insurance exchanges in 2015. As these newly insured patients request services, your revenue will likely increase. However, reimbursement may decrease for some or all services.

Healthcare organizations can work to improve reimbursement in-house as well as in partnership with a revenue cycle management company. This dual approach stands to benefit organizations significantly, and deserves consideration. Here are internal steps to consider taking to improve reimbursement and revenue:

Practicing medicine is a rewarding career, but it comes with a high risk of burnout. According to Samantha Meltzer-Brody, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and the director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program at the University of North Carolina Center for Women's Mood Disorders, half of all physicians in practice experience burnout, Becker's Hospital Review reported. Elements of physicians' work that lead to burnout include loss of control and autonomy, demands of computer documentation, intensity of workload and a decrease in face-to-face contact with patients.

The implementation of ICD-10 in the U.S. has been a long time coming. For the past 20 years, other countries have been transitioning to use their own versions of the new coding system. This means American medical professionals have some data that may help them model implementation in this country.

According to Fierce Health IT, many health care organizations are seeking to enhance their revenue cycle management practices. New features allow companies to handle pre-authorization and bill estimation functions more efficiently, which is appealing enough that many organizations plan to bolster revenue cycle management to take advantage of these features. 

Practices can improve their revenue cycle management through many means, but one of the most important and difficult to effect as a practice alone is higher rates of payment from patients. Medical billing and coding partners that can handle collections are an excellent choice in this endeavor. Something else physicians can implement on their own is a policy of financial disclosure.