Practice productivity is an important measure for any type of health care organization or facility. Renal and Urology News points out RVUs (relative value units) have been in use for quite a while as a way to measure productivity. RVUs were created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to measure how productive physicians are. An RVU comes from separate metrics like how long an office visit or procedure takes or the skill it requires to perform a service. CMS also takes geographic factors into account when calculating specific RVUs.
The ICD-10 coding system, to be implemented next year, has many practitioners scratching their heads. According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, coding for children's medical issues might be the most confounding task of all. Researchers went through 2,708 ICD-10 codes from the Illinois Medicaid system that were related to pediatricians. They found 26 percent of pediatric codes were "convoluted," which represents 21 percent of patient visits and 16 percent of reimbursements from procedures in the study.
With the recent changes in the U.S. health care landscape - and more to come - some practitioners are feeling less than optimistic about their businesses. According to a report from Fitch Ratings, the proliferation of high-deductible health plans has led to patients delaying procedures during the early part of the year, hoping to meet their deductibles and receive more care later. This can be disastrous to the revenue cycle management of any medical practice.
Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are seeing more competition than ever, according to Becker's ASC Review. Hospitals are offering many of the same services ASCs do, and are also becoming joint venture partners in local ASCs. In some areas, the market is saturated with ASCs, whether independent or connected to hospitals. This means it can be more difficult for ASCs to attract physician partners and obtain high buy-in from them. It can also create issues when attempting to negotiate contracts with payers. Of course, a saturated market means each ASC must try harder to attract and retain patients for itself as well.
The most important aspect of a medical practice is its patients. Without people to care for, all other investments in quality health care become useless. With this in mind, practices need to concentrate on getting new patients in the door and keeping those who already come to the practice for their health needs. Furthermore, practices with higher patient volumes see more revenue, which can help them implement all kinds of necessary changes and ensure top compensation for their staff. Here are some ways to attract and retain customers:
Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) face challenges regarding revenue cycle management. There are many ways to address these issues and improve a center's bottom line, however. Working with a medical billing and coding company that has experience obtaining reimbursement from public and private payers is necessary for financial success in today's healthcare industry. On this foundation, ASCs can build other best practices to help their revenue cycle move along smoothly.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released its 2012 physician payment data to the public. Medicare paid out more than $76 billion in that year, and the report was broken down by specialty. Many practices will look at this data to find a benchmark regarding their own Medicare reimbursement payments. Some specialties receive remarkably high rates of reimbursement from Medicare, which can in part be explained by the extensive care these practices are likely to provide and the risk involved in the procedures they perform.
Many physician practices felt relief when Congress delayed the ICD-10 implementation in its most recent short-term patch to the Sustainable Growth Rate Formula. However, according to Physicians Practice, some practitioners didn't feel the same.
According to a survey from medical reference website MDLinx, more than a quarter of small-practice physicians were considering closing up shop in 2012. Though this was two years ago, the climate in the health care industry has not significantly improved. The poll asked 673 physicians across 29 specialties for their opinions on a variety of matters, and found 26 percent of respondents from practices with 10 or fewer physicians believed they would close 2013. Only 17 percent of doctors surveyed overall shared this prediction.