Independent practices make up a major part of the American healthcare system. Undoubtedly, people are more influenced by these independent practices as they are relatively inexpensive and ensure better care than larger healthcare organizations and hospitals. Moreover, these practices have won patients’ trust by adding to their convenience as they provide low-beneficiary costs and are efficient in reducing hospitalization of patients if it is avoidable. However, despite being an efficiently running independent practice it has to face many challenges. The top challenges that an independent practice faces even in the year 2020 are as follows:
Time management with revenue management
Maintaining a full-time independent practice is a challenging task as it calls for effective time management skills. Allocating enough time for both administrative tasks and care delivery task is a very tough job. If the time is not well managed between these important tasks the overall performance of the practice is malfunctioned that ultimately leads to customer dissatisfaction. The independent practitioner has to juggle between handling administration, patient care, and personal wellbeing along with the management of revenue. If the practitioner allocates more time to see patients, it increases his revenue but at the cost of his own wellbeing. This is one of the reasons why independent practitioners deal with more burnout.
Keeping pace with the technology
In the year 2020, it is important for independent practices to not lag in the field of technology. Considering the challenges faced by independent practice providers compared to big hospitals, they must keep pace with modern technology by upgrading their data-keeping systems and unique software. The role of technology is equally important in administrative and care-taking domains. In the present age, patients, as healthcare customers, are more influenced by technologically advanced practices than the practices that still hold on to the conventional methods.
It is no less a task for independent practice to open up a number of payment options for patients of all kinds. With the advancement of technology, patients expect them to offer simple easy and quick options for paying their medical bills. Patients are more inclined towards payment process that is integrated with their portal from where they can easily pay bills and keep track of their payments while paying their bills.
Keeping track with the health record
Patients are concerned about their data and their healthcare records. They no longer rely on the orthodox paperwork and hard copies of their health records. Therefore, digitalizing all their information by switching to electronic health records is a more feasible option these days. Tracking information and patient’s history by electronic health records ease the way for independent practice providers as well but it requires them to save their system from crashing and most importantly from security breaches.
Dealing with insurance reimbursements is the most challenging task that independent practices face these days. Due to complex and rather vague criteria of insurance service providers, most of the patients have to cover their medical bills on their own but this process takes time. Collecting payments in both cases (either from patients or from the insurance company) consumes so much time due to the complex processes of the third-party insurance provider that makes the insurance reimbursement a difficult procedure. Due to these issues, the collection time is reduced, and it affects the overall performance of the independent practice.
Keeping up with patients’ engagement
At present, healthcare has shifted to a consumer-driven industry; both independent practices, as well as hospitals, are inclined to make the patient experience better. As in every other business, customer satisfaction comes at the first priority, so it is crucial to keep the patient satisfied with the services. An effective strategy of patient engagement is keeping the series of communication alive. This process includes sending reminders about their appointments and engaging them in other healthcare activities
Partnering with practice management provider
Due to the increasing burden of management and administration, a large number of independent practices are seeking help from the practice management service providers so that they can manage their independent practice effectively. Undoubtedly, collaborating with practice management service providers increases the efficiency of their practice but it is no easy task when it comes to choosing the right service provider. It is a tough job to make sure that the service you are going to use for both your billing and management purposes is the right one. However, it is important to take some factors into consideration while choosing a service provider such as its software service, reliability, accountability and system efficiency.