I recently read an article (click here) that states “Physicians are working harder than ever to generate even a small increase in their income.” We couldn’t agree more!!  Many physicians are juggling two roles: providing patient care and business practice management.  Some are good at both, some are not.  The article was primarily about how physicians can increase their revenue by filling up empty appointment times. That, of course, is only the tip of the iceberg.

My friend’s father has COPD.  She told me the last time he went to the doctor, he had to ask, “when do you want to see me again?”  The doctor replied, “whenever you feel like it.”  My friend was appalled!!  She said, “if it were up to my father, he would never feel like going to the doctor.  The doctor needs to tell him when he should follow-up.”

My friend is absolutely right!  According to the clinical practice guidelines for COPD published by the National Institutes of Health, patients with severe COPD should be seen a minimum of twice per year and patients with mild to moderate COPD should be seen annually.  In addition, patients newly diagnosed with COPD should be provided with education and self-management training; all of which can be documented and placed on the charge ticket.  Not only can you receive reimbursement for these services, but they are recommended for most chronic disease conditions.  Imagine that!!  Physicians can increase their revenue for providing services according to best practices!!  Having an experienced Practice Management company work with you on incorporating guidelines in your practice, along with proper documentation, coding and billing of these services can make a positive impact on all.

Pay for performance, also known as “P4P” is an emerging payment model that rewards physicians, hospitals, medical groups, and other healthcare providers for meeting certain performance measures for quality and efficiency. If you are not following best practices, you could find yourself missing out on healthier patients and revenue as well. So, filling those empty appointment times may not require adding new patients; just improve the follow-up on your current ones.