Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.
Resources for Rheumatologists
The ACR has myriad ways to help rheumatologists and their practice administrators better understand the business side of their practice. From veteran staffers answering questions to a website of forms, tools and manuals, the ACR aims to proactively assist its members with administrative issues.
“Our physicians always feel like this is a rat maze for them, a never-ending cycle of change,” says Antanya Chung, the ACR’s director of practice management. “A lot of physicians get caught up in the day-to-day practice of medicine; sometimes they forget that there is a business side of medicine. Just like they keep up with research and breakthroughs, they should do their best to not let the rapid advancements on the business side of medicine pass them by.”
Ms. Chung says her team knows the burden on rheumatologists is “enormous,” which is why the ACR facilitates educational courses throughout the year. The ACR has tools to help rheumatologists navigate the complexities of billing and coding, deal with Medicare audits and denials, and figure out how to start or sell a rheumatology practice with a manual.
“If they utilize the tools the ACR has as a first line of defense on a day-to-day basis, they will stay ahead of the curve,” Ms. Chung says. “Work with us on the front end, instead of having to correct processes on the back end. … It’s so much easier to do it that way. We encourage members to use all the resources we have here.”
Ms. Chung suggests rheumatologists or their practice managers sign up for the ACR listserv and email updates (i.e., RheumWATCH). She says her staff is experienced, available Monday through Friday ([email protected]) and ready to answer members’ questions.
“We understand the rapid changes happening in your practice, and we’re here to help,” she says. “We want to work proactively to make sure rheumatology practices stay on track with their billing and coding, insurance and regulation changes.”