In an era of mandates and changing payment trends, it seems that healthcare management is in the throes of insurmountable changes. Because of these changes, physician practices are constantly struggling to cope with declining reimbursement, increasing purchase pressure, and governmental and regulatory factors, creating more and more complexity in claims management. In addition, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has increased the compliance regulations that will affect billing, coding and claims processing with more audits and administrative burdens, which are adding to the complexity of delivering care.
Physicians have to reinvent and readjust their operations to create better efficiencies, as well as methodically evaluate their revenue cycle to capitalize on cash flow. This practice realignment includes taking a 10,000-foot view of every aspect of a practice, which comprises taking a closer look at the day-to-day operations of the practice. Physicians and practice administrators may have to reengineer workloads, workflows and staff responsibilities; review contracts; evaluate accounts receivable; and assess collections. All this will require training.
Access to Training
Over time, providing access to good training and education on practice management issues has proved to be beneficial to physician success. The importance of getting up-to-date information on compliance, insurance reimbursement, office efficiency, coding and billing is crucial for effective and efficient practice management.
The ACR’s Committee on Rheumatologic Care along with the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals has created the premier three-day educational event for rheumatologists and practice administrators during the 2014 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in Boston.
The ACR practice management workshops are designed for established and new rheumatologists, fellows in training, practice managers/administrators and coders. Presented by a unique mix of consultants, physicians and practice managers, who fight the same battles you do every day, these professionals will provide the latest trends, best practices and strategies to successfully manage rheumatology practice in today’s environment.
The three-day practice management track provides in-depth training that focuses on practical skills needed to keep rheumatology practices current with medical coding updates, compliance rules and federal regulations. The program includes three full days of training, with interactive classroom discussions on the following critical areas:
- Friday, Nov. 14: Coding Course—Advance training on E/M coding and clinical documentation;
- Saturday, Nov. 15: Office Efficiency—Tools for your practice to improve compliance and efficiency; and
- Sunday, Nov. 16: Practice Manager’s Day—Overview of healthcare reform changes that impact day-to-day operations of a medical practice.
Currently, it’s vital for healthcare professionals to gain a deeper understanding of the issues that are affecting the daily operations of rheumatology practices. “Navigating the rapid changes in healthcare has become increasingly complicated, and we know physicians and their staff will need the right resources and tools to ensure an efficient and effective practice,” says Antanya Chung, director of practice management at the ACR. Physician business owners must ensure that their practice and staff are fully engaged in learning and applying the rules and guidelines of compliance as well as billing and coding. There are growing investigations by the Office of Inspector General that have led to both civil and criminal penalties, making it imperative for physician practices to approach education and training with due diligence.