Blog | Friday, April 20, 2012

Take-home points for small practices

At a 7:00 a.m. session today, John H. O’Neill Jr., DO, FACP, vice chair of ACP's Medical Practice and Quality Committee, discussed "Small Practice Management: Perspectives for Surviving in the 21st Century." He offered six take-home points for attendees to apply to their practices after returning from New Orleans:

1. Analyze your top 15 charges/reimbursements by payer, including immunizations, and then approach and negotiate with payers for better reimbursement. "What do you have to leverage? Well, you have your participation in their network to leverage," Dr. O'Neill said.

2. Use accounting software that's affordable to identify and micromanage your overhead. "If you don't micromanage your overhead, you're not going to succeed in private practice in the future. You have to know exactly what it is, and you have to take a look at what's malleable, so that you can continue to run your practice efficiently."

3. Use your practice management system to identify the procedures that best fit your practice, then track and optimize their utilization.

4. Consider implementing an EHR/practice management system combo that will help you to improve the care you provide, optimize practice management (billing and reporting) and improve your documentation.

5. Consider developing a patient-centered medical home going forward.

6. Consider the use of APNs or PAs in practice. "They are revenue-generating providers. They're fun to work with. You can teach them how to be a good internist, and they can enhance the revenue stream of your practice if you do it well," Dr. O'Neill concluded.