Ask any patient and they will tell you that healthcare and dealing with payment from their insurance carrier is complicated and frustrating. Ironically, most doctors and practice administrators would likely agree. The latest data shows clinicians spending one-half of their work day on paperwork.
In the field of ophthalmology, reimbursement paperwork continues to be a challenge. Given that patients older than 65 consume 10 times the amount of eye care than their younger counterparts, ophthalmology has some exciting growth opportunities in the future. However, if their practices aren’t optimized with better clinical and administrative workflows, they may end up leaving money on the table in the coming years.
What is the answer for the paper-swamped ophthalmologist seeking a more efficient practice with higher revenues and happier patients in the coming years?
The complexities of practice paperwork are worse today than ever before. Ophthalmology, like all other medical specialties, continues to face a paperwork snarl that complicates our practices and takes away from serving our patients. Managing any medical practice these days is so complicated that most doctors will tell you that they realize their business isn’t as efficient as it could be.
Certainly, it isn’t the fault of the doctor, who is trained to provide a necessary skill but rarely receives the entrepreneurial training necessary to run a successful business. Nor is it the fault of the small administrative team seen in the independent practice. They are so busy trying to keep up with every changing reimbursement guideline from each payer that in many cases, they have little time to focus on clinical workflows or even marketing the business.
This is simply the reality of what practice managers are dealing with, whether their field is ophthalmology, primary care, cardiology—or any other medical specialty. How can practices focus on improving clinical performance in this environment?
Eyecare providers already understand the two realities of what to expect from the business of medicine in the future:
Most doctors are resigned to these realities but struggle to see how to practically move forward and develop a strategy. They are reactionary in their operations, with little time to create and nurture workflow efficiencies. There are simply not enough hours in the day to stop and consider the practice from a wider lens.
If your goal is to increase patient satisfaction, raise revenues, and work smarter, that is admirable. However, when you’re running from patient to patient each day, it’s easy to be caught up in the small details that simply don’t allow the big picture strategies necessary to initiate change. By the end of the day, you and your clinical and administrative team are exhausted. Who has time to think about how you could improve your patient or reimbursement workflows?
What if you had all the time to spend with your patients, which is why you got into this business in the first place? Imagine for a moment, the elimination of your paperwork burden. That would give you the time and space to consider key revenue-generating patient flow questions to improve the volume of clients that visit your practice.
Your key questions would likely include:
These critical questions can lead your practice to changing the workflows necessary to see more patients more efficiently. It’s an intentional strategic business-building approach that is often the exact opposite of today’s hectic, reactionary practice workflows. However, this step is absolutely necessary if you’re seeking concrete ways to improve your workflows and see more patients every day to increase your bottom line. How can you get there?
The first step to improve clinical operations at your ophthalmology practice is to outsource your administrative tasks to maximize your efficiency. The aging baby boomer population coupled with increasing shortages of ophthalmology expertise gives you both a mandate and an opportunity to increase patient volumes—and revenues in the coming years.
American Vision Group partners with leading independent ophthalmology practices around the country by providing administrative support and strategic leadership to improve your clinical and operational workflows. As a partner in our network, your job—and your practice—will focus on better patient care and the optimization of volumes.
We can alleviate the distractions of reimbursement and regulatory paperwork that keeps you from doing what you were trained for. Contact us for professional, trusted guidance and support and get back to the art and science of delivering care.