The health of your bottom line is at stake.
Your compensation and the profitability of your practice depend on actually receiving the income you’re earning. But reimbursements from government and private payers are diminishing in many areas, sometimes significantly. Patient responsibility is becoming more common. And “Obamacare” is throwing you more curves.
ICD-10 could negatively affect your cash flow, as mistakes in coding or data entry cause delays or incorrect billing results in denied claims. With the risks of longer days in AR and poor collections more acute than ever, revenue management has become as important as patient care management. You have to be efficient in order to be effective, and everything you do has to be cost-effective.
ICD-10 impacts operations throughout your practice.
Procedures. More stringent patient confidentiality regulations and revised billing and coding requirements affect both clinical procedures and administrative processes. The government and even some private insurers are demanding more complete, accurate patient data, threatening denials or even fines for non-compliance. Can your office systems accommodate these new ICD-10 rules?
Tightening every step of your administrative processes while continuing to deliver top-quality patient care requires clear, timely communication throughout your practice. Especially now, as the transition officially takes place, you’re dealing with a dual system. The opportunity for errors and confusion is doubled, and that doubles your financial and operational risks, too.
Technology. If you haven’t already transformed your practice to technology-based operations, you’ll have to do that soon to keep up with electronic health records (EHR), remote medicine and the use of mobile devices within your own office as well as billing procedures and data storage. New equipment and applications can improve productivity and efficiency.
But the specialized billing technology necessary to meet ICD-10 requirements and insurance policies and procedures can be expensive. You’ll have to compare long-term costs and benefits of investing in new technology, remembering that total cost of ownership includes personnel time and angst as well as out-of-pocket costs.
People. More complex technology and the inherent vagaries of ICD-10 require more highly-skilled staff, perhaps even additional people. And they will need continued training and support. Evaluating how all your medical and non-clinical staff spend their time, and analyzing peripheral costs such as waste disposal and staff turnover can uncover savings. Because ICD-10 podiatry effects permeate your practice, it’s everyone’s job to look for ways to reduce negative impact.
Overhead. Increased physical space to accommodate new technology or staff drives up overhead costs. Or you may need to modify how you use existing space. Beyond ICD-10 implications, daily operations costs continue to escalate.
Business management. You’re dealing with more data than ever before. There’s opportunity in that, to improve your clinical and administrative procedures and to make better-informed, more cost-effective business decisions and long-term plans. Successful practices use key performance indicators and a regular review process to evaluate ongoing progress.
There are only two ways to grow your practice – generating more revenue and improving collections. Understanding how ICD-10 changes impact your operations will help you streamline procedures to increase productivity and reduce costs. Most important, you can free up the medical professionals in your practice so they can spend more time with patients and less on administrative activities.