homepage | Improving Practice Management Sustainability Takes More Than Practice
May 19, 2023
May 19, 2023
Private medical practices face multiple challenges to remain sustainable and profitable. Annie Alexander of CiBR Solutions helps independent practices learn how to generate more cash flow at a faster rate and be profitable.
These practices have been dwindling in number even before the pandemic. Hospital and corporate acquisition of private practices account for some of the reduction. An Avalere Health report indicated that 74% of physicians were hospital- or corporate-employed by January 2022.
Alexander, a former registered nurse, relates to the difficulties that healthcare workers and practices face. Equally important, she understands how to provide much-needed operational support. Alexander has 14 years of experience in healthcare IT and as a revenue cycle management strategist. She co-founded CiBR Solutions with her husband, a former healthcare director in revenue cycle management.
“I’ve developed strategies based on my experience, by speaking to practices, and by learning from their experiences,” says Alexander. “I understand the journey that they’ve been through.”
Annie Alexander’s course Improve Practice Management provides practical strategies, tips, and insight on how private medical practices can operate more effectively and bolster the bottom line. Complete the form below to learn more about training for your practice.
Alexander has worked with practices in general medicine, OB-GYN, pediatrics, and other areas. “We look at clinical, financial, operational, and management processes. I’m trying to help these practices be sustainable businesses and thrive,” says Alexander.
Helping practices remain in strong financial health benefits people beyond her clients, Private practices that effectively manage costs and revenue can more capably retain employees and are better equipped to serve their communities.
Private practices face substantial administrative, financial, and clinical challenges. Regulatory changes implemented during the pandemic make it more difficult for practices to receive reimbursement for healthcare services rendered. Reduced, delayed, and denied payments adversely impact income and the long-term viability of the business.
Burnout among healthcare providers and staff is another major factor. Alexander says, “Many providers are also retiring. Staff are leaving for other jobs. People are tired and overworked.” Increasing use of telehealth and technological change may impede billing and reimbursement. Staff who do not know how to enter codes correctly can result in payment issues later.
These conditions create stress on healthcare workers, who may not receive proper or adequate training on coding and billing. Short-staffed practices may be unable to quickly, accurately process billing and secure reimbursement. These issues and more affect the revenue cycle and the business’s financial health.
“I work with practices to help them better use their resources and do what they can,” says Alexander. “Our business model at CiBR is to be supportive of practices and create incentives for them to generate more revenue and faster. We give them the right tools and strategies to get funds from [insurance] payers.”
Alexander’s analysis identifies issues tied to knowledge, staffing, and other solvable problems. “Healthcare providers are not taught business in medical school,” says Alexander. “We use our tools and strategies to put plans in place so that the provider is not leaving money on the table.”
For example, an employee at a practice who is paid hourly may only be motivated to work their shift hours. They have little to no incentive to do specific work that brings revenue into the practice. Incorrect coding can result in increased denial rates from insurance payers.
“Most practices face several pain points. We help them understand where they are, what specific pain points they have, how to minimize or avoid them, and direct them to operate in a way that’s more rewarding and profitable,” says Alexander.
Whether it is a dental, chiropractic, or other private medical practice, if the owner doesn’t establish and implement best practices, “you’ll close the doors sooner. Time matters a lot,” says Alexander.
She advises against trying to figure out practice management by trial and error. Training people the right way in the beginning is an investment. Reducing or eliminating inefficiencies helps a practice get paid faster and collect all monies due. Built-in steps can include checking for coverage eligibility, pre-authorization, whether the patient is in network, or able to pay for services.
Alexander teaches healthcare professionals how to identify issues and improve practice management. Her course covers industry trends and challenges that practices face. She shares insights and strategies for improvement that can be applied in a real-world setting.
“I’m motivated to apply my knowledge and experience to help practitioners. I provide tools and strategies to help improve the lives of staff and their families. It’s rewarding for me,” says Alexander.
“Whether you’re a nurse, front desk team member, or manager, I provide information, tips, and tricks to run a practice efficiently and profitably,” says Alexander. “I’m here to help make operations better as a strategic partner. This approach isn’t about assigning blame. I show how to make tweaks that can have a huge impact.”
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