A new report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) may not offer many surprises, but it summarizes the financial impact COVID had on physician groups.
The organization, which represents group practices of all stripes, found an unexpected surge in physician retirement last year. (One-third of practice leaders reported seeing that trend in their groups.)
Medical directors who retired left vacancies in positions and practices with overwhelmed physicians trying to serve patients via telehealth.
A recent article by a Health Leader says that nearly every group saw a drop in patient volume in April 2020, and 71% said they saw a drop of 50% or more.
By June 2020, however, a recovery was underway. Practices began reporting higher levels of work RVUs in that month than they had seen in February and March of 2020. Despite that recovery, more than 80% of practice leaders said that some or all of their providers saw their compensation take a hit.
Additionally, the report shared six factors that healthcare leaders identified as helping their medical practices survive the impacts of the pandemic:
- Rapid and efficient response to relief aid efforts
- Staffing stability and resilience
- Finding the correct telehealth offerings to utilize for their practices
- Reexamining payments and collections for patients
- Keeping communication and engagement open with patients through digital means and phone calls
- Addressing concerns of employee well-being
One thing I know is true: Doctors’ billing practices have changed. They couldn’t upcode for advance care planning because the process to do this was developed with in-person visits at the doctor’s office as the focus. That sees this billing opportunity (as well as many others) gone almost overnight.
Now is the time to revisit your physican’s office accounts and see how you can help. Could they benefit from learning how to bill for advance care planning? Maybe they need to learn how to bill for care plan oversight? Perhaps they need to understand transitional care management?
How about partnering with your referral sources to help them achieve their telehealth visits? (I once heard a rumor that some seniors are technology-challenged…)
You and your agency can make a difference for your doctor’s accounts and help them make more revenue by providing solutions that their brick and mortar business practice simply wasn’t made to solve.
Could you or your team of sales representatives confidently teach MD offices these billing tactics? Could you help them and give your physician accounts a solid reason for them to stay loyal to your organization? If you or your team need to learn more, email Mike@homecaresales.com. We have a master’s program in selling that teaches this and more!
Keep Helping, Keep Serving,
Cheryl Pelekis, RN “The Solutionist”