Editor's note: Last month, YO Info launched a new series of practice management articles. Each month we'll give you some practical tips on a specific topic, followed by relevant Academy resources and member benefits to help you tackle this area of practice management.
Many aspects of running a practice are stressful. Physicians and managers feel pressure from all sides as they attempt to follow the rules, generate revenue, control expenses, maintain healthy patient flows and keep employees happy. Unless you take steps to diffuse this time bomb, it can eventually escalate into a condition you might call “practice management hypertension.”
To help you avoid that, here are five tips for navigating stressors associated with the Affordable Care Act’s implementation.
How to avoid health care reform hypertension
Health care reform is rapidly changing the way medicine is practiced. We must seek to understand and implement these changes to avoid the financial penalties associated with noncompliance. This involves:
- Learning the specifics of accountable care organizations, independent practice associations, medical homes (a new form of capitation) and others;
- Collecting data to analyze costs and track use, though doing so may require the purchase of relational database software;
- Creating patient flyers that explain managed-care principles and educate them on the importance of coverage specifics;
- Investing time and effort in keeping patients healthy (preventive care); and
- Searching for ways to reduce costs — among them, time management.
Academy health care reform resources
Need help putting these tips in practice? The Academy has developed several resources to help (note that some are member-only benefits). Some resources are included in American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives membership, which is free during residency and your first year of practice.
ACOs and ophthalmology
Improve efficiency and reduce costs
Next month: look for our tips on mergers, acquisitions and contract-negotiation. Previously in the series:
Issue Index | Related Articles | YO Info Archive
* * *
About the authors: This article was adapted from the original piece, which appeared in a publication of the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives. Debra Phairas is president of Practice and Liability Consultants, a nationally recognized firm specializing in practice management and malpractice prevention. Her background includes medical clinic administration and loss prevention management for NORCAL Mutual, a physician malpractice insurance carrier in northern California. She has also presented seminars and lectures nationwide for state and local medical/dental associations, management organizations and specialty societies. Christi A. Foist is the managing editor for YO Info and the Web and member communications editor for the Academy’s website.