By DOROTHY HARDEE
Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” As we dive into 2020, it is important to realize, if you don’t have a plan or have practice goals, you will move through the weeks and months blindly. The end of the year will be here before you know it with few objectives being achieved.
What are some of the strategies you will incorporate to help increase referrals to your practice? Physicians face numerous challenges including restrictive insurance rules, government regulations and declining compensation, as they try to balance patient care with business priorities. Mark Bennett mapped out five trends shaping the healthcare industry recommending administrators consider implementing them to potentially improve the practice outlook.
According to a 2018 report from Avalere Health and the Physicians Advocacy Institute fewer than half of all physicians now have an ownership stake in their practices, due to acquisitions by hospitals and insurance companies. But now all physicians are selling, but rather choosing to invest in technology and non-physician staff to increase efficiencies. Others are moving to a more concierge model focusing on personalized care with a smaller patient base or selling stakes to private equity firms to avoid being acquired by hospitals. This allows them to keep ownership and maintain their strong patient relationship.
To compete in this fast-paced environment, physicians must deliver a strong doctor-patient relationship offering a deeper understanding of the patient’s health history, something difficult to maintain in an urgent care setting. This growing medical consumerism moves some physicians to extend practice hours, opening emergency clinics, offering electronic health records and using outside clinics as referral sources to stay competitive and viable.
The Affordable Care Act has brought uncertainty for physicians and their practices, imposing regulations that have increased some reimbursements, but also penalties related to reporting quality standards and the use of EHRs. The political climate has added to the uncertainty as proponents seek to block any attempts to alter or eliminate the program, causing many physicians to postpone important decisions until the dust settles.
Finding skilled workers for a practice has become more competitive than ever driving Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners as the top 3 & 4 of the Best Jobs and the Best Health Care Jobs according to the 2018 US News & World Report. With difficulty filling a critical position, many are moving to healthcare services and technology to fill the gap, focusing on managing medical costs and quality, as well as increasing effectiveness and efficiencies in administrative functions. Using such services often allows the physician to choose their own hours and increasing their ability to provide healthcare services, while sometimes increasing profits for the practice.
The healthcare industry has evolved with a great deal of change driven by technology, from electronic health records allowing providers to streamline many aspects of patient care, to telehealth offering virtual healthcare bridging the divide between providers and their patients. Also, wearable technology, such as the Apple Watch, is able to detect signs of A-Fib, while also detecting irregular heartbeat at regular intervals and fall detection tools help create hyper-targeted, personalized health and wellness plans. It is fueling how to treat patients but can also create issues as practices select provider partners, integrate systems and train staff. Its important to be savvy and knowledgeable about technologies that are best for your practice.
With the growing trend of doctors launching their own practices or opting to stay independent after years of acquisitions by hospital groups, the East Orlando Chamber (EOCC) asked what Central Florida’s independent physician practices need to help grow business. Referrals among peers and within the community went hand in hand. Limited time, staff and hours in a day make networking difficult, but not impossible if it means connecting with the right referral source.
The East Orlando Chamber Healthcare Collaborative is focused on the entire landscape with special attention to offering focused peer-to-peer networking to increase referral sources. Physicians, practice administrators and referral coordinators are invited and encourage to attend our first quarterly event Thursday, February 27, from 8:30 – 9:30 am at CERTUS of Waterford Lakes. This Meet & Greet will introduce your neighboring physicians, more about the Healthcare Collaborative and how the EOCC is helping grow your practice through referrals, community outreach and new opportunities with increased revenue potential. If you are a physician or healthcare professional, register today. A continental breakfast will be provided. RSVP is requested.
Want to know how else the Chamber can work with you to elevate your business? Give us a call at 407-277-5951. Let’s meet to discuss your business objectives and how the EOCC helps drive results making you a long-term member of one of the oldest established chambers in Central Florida.
Dorothy Hardee is Chamber Administrator for East Orlando Chamber of Commerce
Includes Ticket to the Game, Tailgate Party, Food & Beverage
Sunday, January 26, 2020
11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Registration & payment required
Does not include parking
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Sonny’s BBQ Alafaya Trail
310 S Alafaya Trail
Orlando, FL 32825
Complimentary hors d’oeuvres provided. Cash bar
Thursday, January 30, 2020
6:00 – 8:00 PM
USTA National Campus
10000 USTA Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32827
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
1:30 AM – 1:00 PM
The Lemon Lily Tea Room
1954 W State Road 426, Ste. 1106
Oviedo, FL 32765
Registration Required – Space is limited
“Is Recession Looming in 2020?” with Sean Snaith, Ph.D.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
11:30 AM – 1:15 PM
The Lakehouse Lake Nona
13623 Sachs Avenue
Orlando, FL 32827
Please visit www.EOCC.org for a complete listing of events