Helping to ensure your practice is as efficient as possible during COVID-19 and beyond requires a new approach with new protocols. In many cases, offices have closed for several months or experienced decreased patient volume. A report from the American Academy of Family Physicians estimates some practices will face layoffs or closures.
How can you emerge successfully, continue delivering high-quality care to patients, and remain profitable? Here are 5 tips to help achieve a more efficient practice during and after COVID-19.
- Revenue Cycle Management (RCM). It is important to ensure you are as effective as possible in your billing efforts. Delayed payments or denials can negatively impact financial health, making it critical to submit claims accurately and quickly. If business is slower, take the opportunity to evaluate technological improvements that can potentially streamline workflow, increase revenue, and improve collections. By investing in RCM services, your processes can scale seamlessly alongside appointment volumes, achieving improved financial returns once operating at capacity. RCM services can also help claims to be submitted expediently and accurately, potentially reducing the total time between service and reimbursement.
- Electronic Health Record (EHR). A modern EHR can help you run your practice more efficiently and serve patients better. Robust mobile applications allow you to order labs and read results, prescribe medications, and manage patient records on-the-go. A cloud-based EHR means product enhancements are automatically deployed. Interoperability provides the secure sharing of information with other providers both inside and outside of your practice. With a more complete patient plan, practitioners can improve their ability to make well-informed, timely treatment decisions.
- Practice Management (PM). Optimizing patient scheduling is a critical operational system for physician, client, and staff satisfaction. With intuitive features like improved visibility into physician schedules and customized rules, office staff can flexibly schedule and adjust appointments to reduce backlog and allocate more time between patients. It also provides a system for appointment reminders and confirmations. PM software can help simplify insurance claims with automated verification of eligibility, streamlined payment processing, and by offering a fluid transfer of information from the PM to billing systems. If you have not previously invested in this essential tool, or if it’s time for an upgrade, evaluate your options for enhanced PM software.
- Telehealth. Covid-19 has dramatically accelerated the adoption of telehealth services. Mobile healthcare IT applications and capabilities provide ease of access to manage many key clinical and office operations and view patient schedules. Routine wellness visits and high-risk individuals can be seen remotely whether urban or rural, without the patient leaving their home. Conducting virtual visits provides flexibility and minimizes the number of people in the practice at any given time, alleviating strain on the office. Physicians should capitalize on available technology to provide greater flexibility for providing quality care for patients.
- ePrescribing. ePrescribing tools further reduce the need for in-person visits and offer secure clinical communication between prescribers and pharmacies. ePrescribing integrated with your EHR helps automate record-keeping, potentially reducing medication errors while automatically checking for drug interactions or potential overdosing risks. ePrescribing can also help you meet Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) mandates.
Download the white paper, Back to Business: Maintaining financial stability during and after COVID-19, to learn more about ways to help achieve a more efficient practice.