Despite a challenging and rapidly changing healthcare market resulting in devastating losses during the past year, some private practices are on the path to recovery thanks to the implementation of best practices. In a recent article for RevCycleIntelligence, “Top 3 Practice Management Strategies for Ongoing Success,” some of the best practices for recovering from declining reimbursement rates, industry consolidation, and new sites of care delivery are discussed.

The first best practice is to optimize front-end processes like patient registration and insurance eligibility. With these optimizations, a smoother experience is created for both patients and healthcare professionals. An example is a urological practice leveraging an existing practice management system to automate patient financial clearance before a patient even comes through the door for an appointment. By automating this process, patients don’t need to complete information at the front desk, so long wait times are prevented. The end result for the practice was a 300% increase in point-of-service collections and a 75% decline in coordination of benefit denials.

The next best practice is to automate, when possible, as technology can be a key resource for physician practices, particularly when human resource availability is low. In fact, even with practice management systems in place, many practices can still utilize untapped capabilities or other solutions that can further enhance their workflows. In one example, a specialty practice had a practice management system in place but decided it needed to tap into more information to understand trends. By pairing their existing system with practice analytics, they were able to get the additional information they needed.

The last best practice discussed is to use outsourcing as an option to augment both resources and capital. If the right staff or resources are not available to execute proper practice management strategies, outsourcing both practice and revenue cycle management functions can help smaller teams focus better on their core responsibilities. In one example, a gastroenterology practice partnered with an outsourcing vendor to process claims and other revenue cycle management tasks to help deal with a rush of turnover. The practice said the partnership was a success because the outsourcing vendor was transparent about trends and understood the nuances of billing for gastroenterology services. Since much in healthcare is specialty-driven, finding a partner who has expertise in your specialty is a key for success when outsourcing.