The idea seemed simple. Create a medical insurance group and establish a network of care rendered by doctors and other professionals who have agreed by contract to treat patients in accordance with the medical insurance group's guidelines and fee schedules. Stay inside the network and associated medical fees are covered. Go outside the network and risk facing pricey medical bills that the insurance company won't cover. Simple in concept yes, but as managed care evolved in the U.S. and cost containment initiatives became more complicated to administer, many doctors and providers began to drop from managed care networks in favor of more lucrative payer models, but this created even more reimbursement complexities and confusion.Read More
I live in the Chicago suburbs, and during this time of year, everyone is outside working on their lawns. Right now, my lawn looks beautiful—lush and green, free of weeds and carefully mowed in attractive lines. Call me lawn-obsessed, but when I see a dandelion appear in the middle of my pristine lawn, I’m out there with a trowel ready to dig it up. As the summer gets hotter, our lawn must be watered as much as possible within the limits established by our town, so it doesn’t become a yellow, brittle mess.
Just like a suburban lawn, the online reputation of small businesses, including medical providers, must be judiciously maintained. Bad reviews can be like those pesky dandelions—no matter how pretty the rest of the lawn is, just a few of them can be what visitors to your home see first.
I don’t know about you, but I love watching the show Fixer-Upper on HGTV. There’s just something so satisfying about seeing an outdated and sometimes completely trashed house be transformed into something beautiful and functional. Have you ever seen an episode where nothing seems to go right, and the house turns out to have all kinds of hidden problems beyond the issues that are immediately visible to the eye? Host Chip Gaines goes to knock down an unappealing interior wall, only to find black mold lurking in the joists, or a rotten wooden is exterior is removed, revealing an infestation of—eek—termites! Now the homeowner is forced to dish out all kinds of additional money they were not ready to spend.
Regrettably, the healthcare industry is like that. Once you peel back the already flawed exterior, even more problems become evident, and on and on until it is apparent that the system is more broken than most even realize.
This issue is discussed at length in this May 2018 MedCity News "Medcitizens" article by our founder and CEO Rajesh Voddiraju entitled, “The Hidden Costs of Healthcare’s Hidden Costs.” The article begins by highlighting a disturbing trend that has emerged in the healthcare industry over the last ten years—small to mid-sized practices being forced to close their doors due to soaring costs and decreased revenue. The healthcare providers from these practices are then often absorbed by larger healthcare systems and hospitals.
Unfortunately, these large healthcare systems and hospitals simply do not provide the same level and quality of some types of preventative care, as evidenced by this study. Worst of all, the increased consolidation of medical practices may well lead to increased healthcare costs for everyone.
Stop me if you have heard this one before:Read More
Many stakeholders have traditionally viewed healthcare as a physician-centered industry, devising care delivery models accordingly. However, surveys of patient satisfaction with this approach reveal that a different perspective is needed, especially as patients are making more decisions about, and taking increased financial responsibility for, their healthcare. When asked what they really want from providers, patients report that their most important concerns center around symptom relief and being respected as individuals.Read More
To maximize revenue, many practices adopt what seem like practical measures to cut costs, such as reducing employee rosters or limiting upgrades and innovations. While these solutions may have some short-term effects, a long-term, patient-centered approach will produce better results. Focusing on patient satisfaction improves financial outcomes for providers. As patients take increasing control of their care and shoulder greater payment responsibilities, it makes sense for providers to accommodate their preferences as much as possible. A patient-centric approach enables doctors to retain and even grow their patient base, optimizing profitability.Read More
Since the healthcare field is constantly evolving, it can be challenging to develop solutions that enable you to operate your practice more efficiently and provide a positive customer service experience for patients. Patients are making more decisions about their care than ever before. Providers need to incorporate best practices that encourage patients to partner with them in taking responsibility for their health. With an increasing emphasis on person-centered care, high-quality software should facilitate patient engagement. Patients who take an active role in their care have higher rates of recovery.Read More
Healthcare providers continue to move away from outdated processes and tools in favor of technology that can meet the demands of a new health economy. In particular, they seek patient-facing tools to deliver value and cut costs.
One such tool can be found in patient check-in kiosks, an innovative system that allows patients to better manage their financial experience, while at the same time cutting costs for provider groups.Read More
As a healthcare provider, nothing is more important than the care you provide your patients. As a healthcare financial leader, nothing is more important than creating a healthy, sustainable, and profitable organization. Both goals rely heavily on the ability of your organization to provide patients with the healthcare experience they expect--and deserve.Read More
As increasing numbers of Baby Boomers reach retirement age and Millennials start families, the impact of consumerism on the healthcare system continues to grow. Consumerism coupled with the sheer volume of data freely available online about treatments and potential cures have made the management of patient expectations a serious concern for healthcare professionals in recent years.
That is only expected to continue. But what impact will this have on health system operations?Read More