The small and medium sized medical practice is finding its profit margin shrinking with every new compliance regulation and insurance readjustment. The opportunity to save money on the operations side may help grow a bottom line without having to levy new fees on patients or giving up office services. A group purchasing organization (GPO) leverages the power of numbers to lower prices for members without having to give up on the quality of the product.
A Guide to Creating Compelling Physician and Medical Practice Online Profiles
Word-of-mouth referrals have long been the bread and butter of growing and maintaining a practice’s patient panel. Instead of face-to-face conversations though, much of this process now takes place publicly through online physician review sites like Vitals, ZocDoc, and Healthgrades.
So much so, that a recent survey by an online medical reviews firm Software Advice found that 84 percent of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians. And a surprising 77 percent use these reviews as their very first step in scouting out a new physician.
To really harness the power of these online platforms and attract new patients, physicians have to be proactive and find a way to stand out.
Making Your Profile Stand Out
With so many patients flocking to online review sites, physicians need to create profiles that rise above the rest. One way to do this and leave a lasting first impression is to customize the physician and practice profiles as much as possible.
For example, there is often a part of the profile called the “practice statement” or “physician’s biography.” If these are optional fields — which is frequently the case — it can be tempting to skip over them and leave them blank. But filling these in can actually give prospective patients an insider view of your practice and personality — all things that can be the difference between them calling you first or someone else.
A Guide to Creating Captivating Profiles
Our friends over at InboundMD have just released a step-by-step guide for physicians interested in crafting powerful online profiles and personal statements. In it, you’ll find all of the information you need including:
- The benefits of claiming your online profiles;
- How to identify what makes your practice unique;
- Do’s and don’ts of writing personal statements that actually connect with patients;
- Adapting your message for each review site’s platform; and
- A simple checklist covering the best practices for online review sites.
Download the Guide
You can download InboundMD’s complete guide How to Craft a Formidable Personal Statement for Your Review Site Profile for free here.
Have you claimed your online physician and practice profiles? How did you customize them? Please join the conversation below.
— This post Online Review Sites: A Guide to Creating Compelling Physician and Medical Practice Profiles was written by Manny Oliverez and first appeared on Capture Billing. Capture Billing is a medical billing company helping medical practices get their insurance claims paid faster, easier and with less stress allowing doctors to focus on their patients.
Long gone are the days in which physician practices could rely on a single office manager to oversee operations and perform the coding and billing. Today’s practices are under an almost unfathomable amount of scrutiny by auditors and payers, requiring a highly specialized knowledge of the healthcare system. Couple that with electronic medical record (EMR) implementations, the Affordable Care Act, and the recent transition to ICD-10, and you’ll find that many practices are struggling simply to stay in business. In fact, many practices have joined larger groups, hospital networks, or Accountable Care Organizations because of the option to share compliance risk and resources among various participants.
ICD-10 and other regulatory requirements have also inspired a trend toward hiring credentialed coders who can help physician practices navigate regulatory changes with ease. Physicians are beginning to realize that selecting a code in ICD-10 is not a straightforward task. Physicians must choose from among hundreds of codes in an EMR dropdown menu. Even the narrative descriptions for many of these codes differ from their ICD-9 counterparts. Physicians either take the time to choose a correct and specified code—and therefore lose precious productive time—or they simply choose the first code that pops up regardless of its accuracy or specificity. Neither of these scenarios is good for the business side of the practice.
Gaining a financial peace of mind
In a post-ICD-10 world, certified coders provide an added layer of financial security by:
Once this information is verified, billers are able to submit a clean claim with a lower likelihood of denial. Without this added level of review, practices run the risk of sending bills that are subsequently denied and that must be appealed or written off.
In addition to promoting accurate code assignment, certified coders also enhance these other business processes within the practice:
Looking for the right credential
Various organizations offer coding credentials and certifications; however, MMI’s Registered Medical Coder (RMC) credential is the only one in the industry that requires an annual retest to ensure ongoing competence. The retest measures coders’ knowledge of important CPT, HCPCS, and ICD-10-CM code changes that affect all specialty areas the majority of practices. An RMC-credentialed coder must also meet these requirements:
MMI’s stringent standards for coding certification directly benefits physician practices seeking to maintain the highest degree of compliance. RMC-certified coders are able to identify areas of coding and documentation improvement and articulate important industry changes and their potential effects on the practice. By enabling prospective—rather than retrospective—compliance, RMC-certified coders enhance operational and financial efficiencies. A practice that employs a certified coder is ultimately a more profitable and compliant practice.
About the Author
Dari Bonner, RMC, CCP, CHCA
Dari Bonner serves as the Chief Training Officer at the Medical Management Institute (MMI) where she is able to bring her 22 years of healthcare experience to the table. Dari has extensive consulting & project management experience, with her areas of expertise in both the public & private sector, hospitals, outpatient service centers and large & small physician practices.
About the RMC
The Registered Medical Coder (RMC) certification is ideal for medical coders & billers in the physician office and outpatient setting. The credential is licensed through the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC) and is administered online through the Medical Management Institute (MMI). MMI is A+ accredited through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has been in business for nearly 30 years. MMI offers online medical coding training to prepare for the RMC Certification Exam.
Abusers of the Medicare system can sometimes be intentional or not, but the stories that really get significant attention of the public are the ones that highlight healthcare personnel that intentionally over bill Medicare.
There are several types of abuse including falsifying claim forms adjusting the actual cost of services, Billing for services and supplies that were not provided, and even billing for appointments that were canceled.
On April 18, 2016, The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced that it has reached a settlement with dermatologists Margaret Kopchick, M.D., and Russell Burken, M.D., and their practice group, Toccoa Cl
inic Medical Associates, who agreed collectively to pay $ 1.9 million to settle claims that they violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare for evaluation and management (E&M) services that were not permitted by Medicare rules.
“The improper billing of evaluation and management services cost the taxpayers millions of dollars each year and drain the Medicare Trust Fund,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) for the Atlanta region. “The OIG and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to hold health care providers like these responsible for improper claims.”
You can read the full press release on the justice.gov website here.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office atUSAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued two reminders recently that physicians must be working constantly to maintain compliance with the Medicare quality reporting programs. The current regulations call for adjustment of the fees paid to physicians for services to Medicare patients based on annual measurement of the physicians’ performance under quality and cost metrics. Radiologists must focus on their quality measures because the system assigns them to an Average Cost pool by default since they have little or no control over this factor.
By now everyone involved in billing Medicare for physician services should be aware of the new Quality Payment Program (QPP) that will be in effect for payments in 2019 based on data submitted in 2017. The new system was outlined in our recent article Medicare Quality Reporting Rules are Changing. The regulations that will govern the new system will not be finalized until later this year, but radiology practices will benefit from preparing as early as possible to capture the data they will need to report under the new system.