10 solutions to your biggest medical practice challenges

By Amber Taufen, MA
July 25, 2012

Our latest “Medical Practice Today: What members have to say research,” available in the July issue of MGMA Connexion magazine, has been sliced and diced, and we’ve identified the top 10 challenges facing MGMA members. Not only that, but we’ve also paired each of those challenges with a resource that can help you tackle them head-on:

1. Challenge: Managing finances with the uncertainty of Medicare reimbursement rates

Resource: MGMA DataDive Cost and Revenue Model

This web-based version of the MGMA Cost and Revenue Survey Report: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data allows you to compare your practice’s costs and revenue with those of other practices in the same specialty. You can see areas for improvement in your practice based on data from more than 1,950 medical groups. This will help you determine how payer mix can affect your practice’s bottom line, and you’ll also be able to view five years of MGMA survey data to help you identify trends.

2. Challenge: Preparing for reimbursement models that place a greater share of financial risk on the practice

3. Challenge: Preparing for the transition to ICD-10 diagnosis coding

Resource: 5010 and ICD-10 implementation

This is the go-to place for learning about the transition to ICD-10 and implementing the new HIPPA Version 5010 standards. We’ve listed news, articles and resources regarding 5010/ICD-10 in one spot to help make the transitions more cost effective and less.

4. Challenge: Dealing with rising operating costs

Resource: Mastering Patient Flow, 4th edition

Rising operating costs might be out of your control, but one thing you can control is practice operations that could bring in more revenue. This best-selling book will help you create productivity targets by staff function, improve patient access and physician efficiency and much more.

5. Challenge: Participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' EHR meaningful use incentive program

Resource: EHR Optimization and Operations Guide for Medical Practices

If your practice has already implemented an EHR and is looking to maximize its effectiveness, then this guide is for you; it includes tips and samples that will help you optimize your EHR and use it to fulfill meaningful use requirements.

6. Challenge: Understanding the total cost of an episode of care from the payer’s perspective

Resource: MGMA 2013 Financial Management and Payer Contracting Conference (Feb. 24-26, 2013, Phoenix)

7. Challenge: Collecting from self-pay, high-deductible health plans and/or health savings account patients

Resource: The Physician Billing Process: 12 Potholes to Avoid on the Road to Getting Paid

This book shares strategies to optimize your revenue cycle and ensure a financially healthy bottom line, including deciphering consumer-directed health plans and segmenting patients in terms of financial risk.

8. Challenge: Maintaining physician compensation levels

Resource: Physician Compensation Plans: State-of-the-Art Strategies

Your physicians want to know they’re getting paid fairly, and this guide will help you determine the correct approach for your practice, whether it’s an academic medical center, a group practice or part of an integrated delivery system. You’ll learn about an array of plans, plus legal and regulatory compliance issues and tips to achieve physician buy-in.

9. Challenge: Managing finances

Resource: The Revenue Cycle: Financial Management Boot Camp

Boot camps are a great way to get in shape, and our Financial Management Boot Camp is one of the best methods of ensuring your expenses are as lean and your income as robust as possible. The course includes an overview of medical practice financial components that every manager should know, as well as in-depth information on specific areas you might want to beef up on.

10. Challenge: Recruiting physicians

Resource: MGMA Physician Placement Starting Salary Survey: 2012 Report Based on 2011 Data

To get the best people in your practice, you must offer competitive compensation packages for both established physicians and those just out of residency or fellowship. This survey report will show you what the average mix of compensation, benefits, incentives and opportunities are in your area so you can make sure your offers are attractive to physicians.

For a full list of MGMA resources available to help you manage each of these problems, see the July 2012 issue of MGMA Connexion.

Amber Taufen, MA, assistant editor, Corporate Communications, MGMA

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