SEO Basics for Doctors: URLs

Lea Chatham June 23rd, 2016

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Is your URL strategy for your website working? URLs are the way that webmasters name the pages of your website. Learn how to do URLs right to get found online in this short video from expert John Sung Kim. Tweet this Kareo story

 

Get more tips on how to create an effective and engaging website in this simple guide.

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Best Practices for Implementing a Telemedicine Program

Lea Chatham June 22nd, 2016

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By: Charlie Kolb, VP Business Development and Co-Founder, Chiron Health

Healthcare providers of all types and sizes are quickly embracing telemedicine as a way to increase revenue, reduce costs, protect against competitive threats, and meet the needs of modern patients. Today’s technology makes it easy to accomplish all of this and more with little upfront investment and simple deployment options. There are, however, a few important steps you can take to make your program a success and avoid some common pitfalls. Here are some of the best practices for launching a telemedicine program that our clients have discovered. Tweet this Kareo story

Define Your Strategy and Goals
At the outset, it is important to outline exactly what you hope to get out of your telemedicine program. You should set goals related to measurable objectives such as revenue, wait times, no-shows, customer satisfaction scores, administrative costs, and any other metrics that are important to your practice. By doing this, you’ll be able to assign a value to your telemedicine program and measure your success.

Assemble a Team
Telemedicine has the potential to impact a number of functional areas within the practice, so it makes sense to gather a small project team to oversee the roll out. Usually this involves any providers who will use the technology, appointment schedulers, accounting, technical resources if you have them, and other business functions that might be able to help, such as marketing. Making one person the project leader is an effective way to make sure that the project runs smoothly.

Understand Rules, Regulations and Reimbursement
The good news is that legislators and private payers are becoming more progressive in terms of their approach to telemedicine. Currently 26 states have so called “parity” laws that require the reimbursement of many video visits on par with in-person visits, and more have legislation in progress. The bad news is that there is still a large degree of inconsistency, so you need to get to know any rules regarding which patients can be cared for this way, whether there are any limits on the types of services that can be provided and how payer reimbursement is approached in your state.

Select a Technology Partner
There are several types of telemedicine technology on the market, with the most popular (and the most frequently reimbursed) method being live audio and video. You’ll want to select a partner with a solution that will be easy for providers, staff and patients to use; highly secure and HIPAA compliant; and integrated with your EHR solution. The best solutions on the market also have a system to verify reimbursement eligibility before every visit. Finally, you’ll need to make sure your partner will sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement.

Create a Utilization Strategy
It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you do want to determine how you will let your patients know that this service is available and train staff to offer it when appropriate. You might consider blocking certain times during the week for video visits, or making them available during times that the office isn’t traditionally open. One quick tip to increase utilization and revenue is to conduct follow up phone calls (which aren’t usually reimbursable), by video (which often is reimbursable) instead.

Implement the Technology
Surprisingly enough, this is the easiest part. Modern cloud-based solutions require very little configuration, except a some setup related to the integration with your EHR or practice management solution. Your vendor should be happy to offer any help that you need. Do plan on setting aside some time for a bit of training to get everyone up to speed, but if you’ve selected well designed telemedicine technology, it should be a breeze.

Gather Feedback
Your patients and staff will give you good insight into the health of your telemedicine program. Our most successful clients set up a system for frequent feedback and invite a conversation around the approach.

Check In With Your Goals
Once your program is off and running, don’t forget to look back at your goals and frequently measure how you are doing so that you can make adjustments if needed. Be sure to recognize and reward your team when objectives are reached.

Your telemedicine program can have a profound impact on your practice so it makes sense to approach it with thoughtful planning. If you adhere to these best practices, adjusted for what may be unique about your practice, your path to a thriving telehealth program will be smooth sailing.

About the Author
Charlie is Co-founder and VP of Business Development at Chiron Health. He is also Chiron Health’s expert in telemedicine regulations and reimbursement. Charlie’s mission is to bring telemedicine to the 21st century one practice at a time through Chiron Health, a simple telemedicine software that allows physicians to connect with their patients for routine appointments over secure video, with full reimbursement

 

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The Time Has Come for Your Independent Practice to Shine Online

Lea Chatham June 21st, 2016

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Download NowBy Adria Schmedthorst

Whether you know it or not, you already have an online reputation. You are listed on rating and review sites across the web. What those sites say and how you present yourself on the web are more important than ever. The majority of patients—84%—say they use online reviews to evaluate healthcare providers. This means that taking control of your online presence and learning how to shine online is critical to keeping your current patients and finding new ones.

According to John Sung Kim, the technology evangelist at Kareo, two recent studies from Stanford and Harvard prove the value of social media in healthcare. Researchers in the Harvard study found that every one star increase in social media generated a 9% increase in annual revenues. Researchers also found that on Yelp, the Elite reviewers have a direct influence on the consumer opinion. This demonstrates the power of review sites to influence consumer healthcare decisions.

In fact, as Kim pointed out, the power of social media can actually level the playing field for small, independent practices. A well-executed review strategy can allow them to compete effectively against larger provider organizations whose marketing budgets traditionally gave them an advantage.

Here are four keys to maximize your independent practice’s online presence. Tweet this Kareo story

  1.  Create a website that is actionable and engaging. Patients are more loyal to a provider who offers a patient portal, and many patients say they want online scheduling and secure communications with their doctor.
  2. Set up social media accounts to interact with patients outside the exam room. According to Forbes, some practices are gaining as much as 20% of their new patients from online publishing, including social media. You need to be there, and be active. Post regularly, respond to patient comments, and be sure you share reviews as well.
  3. Claim your online listings, and make sure they are accurate and up to date. In the old days, you had to do this manually, but today there are solutions that will do it for you. When you get your listings up to date, you improve your search rankings as well.
  4. Generate more positive patient reviews online. No one likes to ask for reviews, especially not healthcare providers. However, you need them to improve your search rankings and appeal to new patients who find you online. Using marketing automation software to follow up with all patients after their visits allows you to ask for reviews and then syndicate positive reviews to multiple sites easily.

With the importance of your online presence and social media rising each year, generating positive reviews and properly handling negative reviews is a must. Yet, many small practices face challenges because even the most popular providers may receive only a few reviews each year, making the impact of any negative reviews even more devastating.

Use these tips to boost your number of positive reviews and quickly and effectively handle negative ones:

  • Routinely ask patients for reviews after each appointment or use an automated patient survey system. Handing out cards with links that ask for reviews can work as well.
  • Use a solution that alerts you when there is a negative review.
  • Follow-up on negative reviews immediately. Listen to the reviews and look for feedback that you can use to improve your practice. Let the reviewer know that you want to fix the problem. If it is specific to the patient, take it offline. If it is more general, you can respond when you’ve made a change or addressed it. The key is to take the feedback seriously and work to make improvements.
  • If you work to get patients to give you those good reviews, then a few negative reviews won’t have a huge impact.

For more tips to independent practice success, download 8 Ways to Keep Your Name on the Door.

About the Author

Adria Schmedthorst is a writer focusing on the medical device, technology, software, and healthcare industries. Adria is the founder of AMS Copy and a healthcare professional herself with more than 10 years in practice. She now uses her knowledge of the industry to help companies achieve their goals of writing content that speaks to the hearts and minds of medical professionals. She has been featured in blogs, written articles, and other publications for the industry, and ghostwritten books for doctors in both the United States and Australia.

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Find Out What New Revenue Streams You Can Add Now in Free Webinar

Lea Chatham June 16th, 2016

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Is It Time to Add New Revenue Streams?
Thursday, June 23
10:00 AM PT, 1:00 PM ET

Learn how you can add new services to your practice in increase revenue and improve patient outcomes in this free webinar Tweet this Kareo story

 

Are you giving money away to your competitors? If you aren’t considering additional revenue streams for your practice, you might be. Patient expectations are changing and some insurance plans are paying more if you meet new criteria or offer expanded care. In this webinar, Rochelle Glassman will discuss how adding innovative new services can increase revenue while also improving patient care and outcomes.

You’ll learn:

  1. When to add a new service and what type of services to consider
  2. How to evaluate your payers and patients to choose the services that will generate the most revenue
  3. How to add services that labs and other vendors may pay you directly for and that will assist in patient clinical management
  4. And, how to train staff, market new services, and work with third-party vendors

Register now to learn innovative ways to stay independent.

Register Now

 

About the Speaker

Rochelle Glassman is President & CEO of United Physician Services. Rochelle brings a passionate, very practical “do it today” approach to making medical practices successful and getting physicians paid more.

 

 

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Automate Medical Billing to Get Paid Faster

Lea Chatham June 15th, 2016

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By Adria Schmedthorst

There are two things that keep your practice open—seeing patients and getting paid. And, the truth is that getting paid has many challenges. Improving reimbursement was named the top challenge by nearly 20% of independent practice owners. From gathering the right information at scheduling to accurately coding the visit to tracking the claim, there are a lot of place where things can go wrong. Add to that the constant industry changes like ICD-10 and it can get pretty overwhelming. The more you automate and use best practices for medical billing, the better chance you have of getting paid quickly and correctly. Tweet this Kareo story

Eighty-nine percent of physician practices agree that their billing and collections systems and processes need upgrading. The first step is to find a solution that can automate billing from end to end, eliminating as many places where errors occur as possible. Make sure to:

  • Automate eligibility verification
  • Use an EHR or electronic charge capture to submit an electronic superbill directly to your biller
  • Scrub 100% of claims from submission to payment.

Capturing charges electronically and submitting claims the day the superbill is received reduces coding errors, prevents over and under coding, improves accuracy, and decreases data entry for the billing staff. Your goal should be to get claims submitted in three days or less from the time of service and track them through payment.

Using billing tasks and features like no-response claim tracking can help ensure that no claim goes unpaid or underpaid. To ensure accurate payments, keep fee schedules up-to -date and use electronic remittance advice to post payments electronically. Underpayments result in a 7% loss of net revenue for the average practice, but it doesn’t have to happen in your practice. When all of your billing practices are automated and in order, you should be able to achieve average days in A/R of 40 days or less and have a net collection rate of 96%.

Managing billing and accounts receivable is one of the most labor-intensive tasks in any medical practice. For smaller practices, the staff is often forced to multi-task, providing patient care and follow-up, handling eligibility verification, and taking care of billing.

If managing all this in-house has become too much of a burden, then consider outsourcing. A good billing service can provide skilled, highly trained billers who know your specialty and all the best practices to get you paid. 

Upgrading to a single source vendor can offer many benefits to independent practices. Vendors like Kareo provide seamlessly integrated RCM, PM, EHR, and billing solutions with a short learning curve for the staff. Making this move can help reduce errors, eliminate tedious office tasks, improve billing, and get you paid. In fact, a survey by the research group Black Book confirms that 90% of practice managers believe that an innovative, seamless RCM/PM/EHR system would ensure long-term practice independence, and greatly improve productivity and profitability.

When choosing or updating your medical practice software, there are three critical points to consider:

  1.  Look for complete data integration so that you won’t have to enter information into multiple systems.
  2. Choose an end-to-end system with a single patient database and the ability to manage your scheduling, billing, clinical documentation, patient communications, and practice marketing.
  3. Pick a platform that is the right-size for your practice.

For more tips to independent practice success, download 8 Ways to Keep Your Name on the Door.

About the Author

Adria Schmedthorst is a writer focusing on the medical device, technology, software, and healthcare industries. Adria is the founder of AMS Copy and a healthcare professional herself with more than 10 years in practice. She now uses her knowledge of the industry to help companies achieve their goals of writing content that speaks to the hearts and minds of medical professionals. She has been featured in blogs, written articles, and other publications for the industry, and ghostwritten books for doctors in both the United States and Australia.

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Check Out Tips on Data Security, Marketing, and Adding New Services in Getting Paid Newsletter

Lea Chatham June 14th, 2016

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The June Getting Paid Newsletter offers tips on protecting your practice from ransomware, marketing to younger generations, and adding new services to boost revenue. You can also check out recent events you may have missed as well as upcoming events you might want to add to your calendar. Plus, learn about other recent Kareo news. Read all this and more now! Tweet this Kareo story

 

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Protect Your Practice Against Ransomware

Lea Chatham June 13th, 2016

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By Lisa A. Eramo

What would you do if your practice suddenly lost the ability to access your electronic health record (EHR) and/or practice management system? What if you couldn’t regain control for two weeks and had to use downtime procedures in the interim? This is exactly what could happen if hackers attack your system using ransomware.

 

What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts files and holds them hostage. Hackers often demand that users pay a ransom in the form of bitcoins—an online currency—to remove the encryption so the files can be used again.

Most recently, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA paid $17,000 in bitcoins to regain access to its data after hackers deployed ransomware to infect CT machines, systems essential for laboratory work, and emergency room systems. The hospital used downtime procedures for almost two weeks as a result of the incident.

Ransomware is a major and rapidly-growing threat in 2016, according to the McAfee Labs 2016 Threats Predictions Report. It’s responsible for 406,887 attempted infections, and it accounts for a total of approximately $325 million in damages, according to a November 2015 report by the Cyber Threat Alliance.

“All recent attacks demonstrate the real immaturity of security controls and limitations of safeguards in healthcare,” wrote Stephanie Crabb during a recent cybersecurity Twitter chat hosted by Kareo.

Ransomware is a problem in every healthcare setting, agrees John Rogers, CISSP, manager of professional services at Sage Data Security. This includes independent physician practices as well as those practices that are connected to hospital technology and infrastructure via network VPNs. Rogers says hackers don’t usually target a particular type of provider—they simply look for vulnerabilities to exploit opportunistically.

“Hackers are not interested in spending more effort than they have to,” he says. “So they’re going to look for the unlocked car door before they smash any windows. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unlocked doors out there.”

What makes practices vulnerable?
The most significant vulnerabilities are unpatched operating systems, unpatched third-party applications, misconfigured firewalls, and unpatched firewalls, says Rogers.

A firewall is a system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It establishes a barrier between a trusted, secure internal network and another outside—and presumably unsecured—network, such as the Internet. A patch updates a firewall to address new security vulnerabilities.

Adobe Flash Player and Internet Explorer® were among the top targets in 2014, according to TrendMicro™. The company published a white paper titled Evolution of Exploit Kits: Exploring Past Trends and Current Improvements that describes infection techniques in greater detail.

Internet- or Bluetooth-enabled medical devices are also vulnerable. These include pacemakers, insulin pumps, and other medication dispersion systems. Ransomware often uses the open connection to infect the IoT device, according to a 2016 report published by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology titled Combatting the Ransomware Blitzkrieg.

How does a ransomware attack occur?
There are many potential scenarios, Rogers explains. For example, hackers could first gain access to a system by exploiting a vulnerability in a firewall or Internet-facing system to deploy an exploit kit that may identify and disable security software. Next, they would simply download malware onto the system. In other scenarios, the hacker might exploit a vulnerability after someone unknowingly clicks on an infected link through a phishing scheme, visits an infected website, or even provides confidential information over the phone to someone posing as an IT professional.

Rogers says approximately 50 variants of ransomware exist today. “But those are main variants,” he adds. “There could be sub-variants of these released at any given time. That’s how this works. Once we understand a certain variant and how to look for it and how to detect it, they’re going to alter it in some way so it can escape detection. It’s always a game of cat and mouse, and unfortunately we’re the mouse.”

Older variants tend to infect one machine, issue one encryption key, and then try to encrypt files on that machine as well as files stored on shared-drives accessible from that one point of infection. Newer variants are capable of enumerating all host computers listed in the Active Directory database and then issuing a distinct encryption key for each.

“It’s a lot harder to unwind, and it can actually go after infrastructure and encrypt firmware, which takes computers down so they’re not operable,” says Rogers. “It’s more dramatic, and it can encrypt more types of files—including databases and backups—not just Microsoft Office files, PDFs, and images.”

What can physicians do to mitigate risk?
Rogers says it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big difference in terms of security.  “The simplest controls are the most effective,” he adds. Consider the following tips to protect your practice against ransomware: Tweet this Kareo story

  1. Perform a security risk assessment. This is required for Meaningful Use, and it can also help pinpoint specific cybersecurity vulnerabilities within your practice, says Rogers.
  2. Identify an airgap data backup strategy. This allows practices to essentially perform a data backup, then take the backup offline so it is undetectable by malicious software, Rogers explains.
  3. Purchase cybersecurity insurance. Ask whether the policy covers specific types of attack scenarios and what is included in that coverage. Some policies, for example, may cover a forensic investigation, losses incurred, costs associated with building a bitcoin infrastructure, or payroll during downtime.
  4. Create a policy and procedure for patch management. Create an inventory of all operating systems, software programs, and devices used in the practice. Establish a process to check for security updates on a daily or weekly basis.
  5. Raise awareness of phishing schemes. For example, reiterate the importance of hovering over any hyperlinks before actually clicking on them. Does the URL actually match the hyperlink’s text description? For suspicious phone calls, do employees know that they should first offer to call the individual back? Will the caller provide contact information? If a number is provided, Google it first to determine whether it matches the organization’s legitimate number. Employees should not provide any confidential information when they haven’t initiated the conversation.
  6. Educate employees. Be sure to address the following topics:
    - Encrypting and securing wireless networks, mobile devices, emails, and servers
    - Implementing physical security controls
    - Installing and maintaining anti-virus software
    - Using strong passwords that are updated regularly

For more information about how practices can ensure cybersecurity, view these top 10 tips published by HealthIT.gov.

About the Author

LisaEramofreelanceLisa A. Eramo is a freelance writer/editor specializing in health information management, medical coding, and healthcare regulatory topics. She began her healthcare career as a referral specialist for a well-known cancer center. Lisa went on to work for several years at a healthcare publishing company. She regularly contributes to healthcare publications, websites, and blogs, including the AHIMA Journal and AHIMA Advantage. Her focus areas are medical coding, and ICD-10 in particular, clinical documentation improvement, and healthcare quality/efficiency. 

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What Added Services Can Add Medical Practice Revenue?

Lea Chatham June 13th, 2016

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By Rochelle Glassman

In today’s healthcare environment we have been blessed with the development and implementation of integrated practice management, electronic medical records, and reporting systems. Gone are the days of appointment books, peg board, paper charts, balancing your daily and monthly collections with a calculator and sending out paper patient statements.

Many practices have seen the transition in to a highly technical environment that allows them to manage and collect information and data at the press of a button. There has also been a shift away from fee-for-service towards pay-for-performance.

Medicare and commercial health plans are now requiring that providers meet certain standards and provide wellness and other services. This has created some opportunities to increase medical practice revenue. But if you don’t follow through, you may see a decrease instead.

Some payers will be penalizing providers financially by reducing reimbursement from three to nine percent. On the other hand, I have medical practice clients that are already receiving bonus checks in addition to higher reimbursement for meeting certain requirements.

There are ways to use this paid-on-performance environment to increase revenue without the cost and assistance of outside marketing expenses by developing and implementing simple and cost effective revenue generating programs within your practice.

You can generate additional revenue, meet HEDIS and Meaningful Use requirements, and increase patient satisfaction by implementing screening programs such as: Tweet this Kareo story

  • Diabetic Retinopthy
  • Skin Cancer Screening
  • Drug Testing
  • Pharmacogenetic Testing
  • Medical Weight Loss
  • Allergy Testing
  • Smoking cessation

These programs can be targeted to existing patients, making them very cost effective. With the right staff education, support, compensation, and work flows you can successfully implement any of these new revenue streams to help ensure your long term success.

Join me for my upcoming free webinar on June 23 to learn more about how to launch and market these programs. Register now for Is It Time to Look At New Revenue Streams.

About the Author

Rochelle Glassman is President & CEO of United Physician Services. Rochelle brings a passionate, very practical “do it today” approach to making medical practices successful and getting physicians paid more.

 

 

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Top Three Tips to Reach Millennial Patients

Lea Chatham June 13th, 2016

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By  John Sung Kim

Millennials are at the age where they are no longer covered by their parent’s health plans. As a result, 83.1 million young Americans are making their own choices for healthcare providers. This is an opportunity for practices to market to, and reach, the millennial generation. There are best practices and tactics to build an outreach campaign to this growing group of health services consumers.

According to a recent study sponsored by the cloud software company Salesforce.com, patients in this age segment perceive the level of technology investments a doctor’s practice has made as being proportional to the quality of care they will receive. This bodes well for practices that are starting to make investments into their internal IT systems as such investments may have marketing return on investment (ROI) in addition to efficiency gains.

This generation also values convenience and speed of service above all other factors, even price – though certainly this segment of the population is indeed price sensitive. This is an important distinction to make as there is often a belief amongst many marketers that millennials rank cost as the most important determinant in making their purchase choices, as they typically are at the bottom bracket of the income range.

However, a separate study conducted by Nuance Technologies on millennial patient behaviors indicated that, especially in highly metro areas, they are willing to pay a premium for both convenience and speed. What’s most interesting about this particular study is that 70% of young patients said they would choose a doctor based on friends and family recommendations or online reviews.

More so than any previous generation, millennials have unprecedented access to information and choice. They are also more publicly communicative with their opinions, reading and writing reviews of their consumer experiences.

This generation of patients are effectively “Compound Consumers,” where their purchase decisions affect the decisions of their social network, and even the public at large. So implementing a comprehensive reviews strategy is essential for any independent practice to reach this growing market segment, and perhaps the single most impactful campaign a modern practice can employ as a marketing tool.

Here are the top three methods to implementing a successful reviews marketing campaign to reach millennial healthcare consumers. Tweet this Kareo story

  1. Claim your profile page on popular review sites like Yelp and Google Local. You can search for, and create, your Yelp profile here as well as claim your Google Local listing as a doctor here. These types of profile pages have a way of showing up on the first page of search results for your name or the name of your practice. It’s critical to own these pages by making sure you have editorial control, including the ability to upload pictures of you, your staff, and your office.
  2. Use a marketing automation system that centers around appointment reminders and post appointment surveys. These systems are affordable, and the better ones can integrate into your EHR and practice management calendaring system so that the entire process of reminding your patients about their upcoming appointments and asking for reviews is completely automated.
  3. Set your marketing automation software to ask your patients to complete a survey and to automatically request that the patients who give your practice a 4 or 5 star rating leave a review on popular sites like Yelp and Facebook. The more sophisticated marketing automation software systems “syndicate” reviews. This means that positive reviews from patients can be placed on third-party review sites automatically, allowing your practice’s marketing campaigns to thrive.

While it may seem that the millennial generation is beyond the reach of your practice’s marketing efforts, this group will soon become health services consumers who not only make up a growing portion of the revenue pie chart for many practices, but an increasingly vocal one as well. So it’s important to not only understand them, but to leverage their user behaviors such as compound consumerism to smartly expand your practice’s revenue base.

About the Author

John Sung Kim is the technology evangelist at Kareo. He was previously the CEO of DoctorBase, a practice marketing and patient engagement platform that was purchased by Kareo in 2015. He was also the founder and founding CEO of Five9 (NASDAQ: FIVN). He’s acted as a consultant to numerous startups and government organizations including RingCentral, Qualys, Odesk, the city of San Francisco and the California Public Utilities Commission. 

 

 

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See Patients as Consumers for Independent Practice Success

Lea Chatham June 9th, 2016

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Download NowBy Adria Schmedthorst

What patients expect from a healthcare provider has changed dramatically in recent years. More than 50% of patients say they value great customer service in a healthcare provider. Many patients have indicated a preference for increased convenience and access through email and text communications, online scheduling, social media, and more. And these aren’t just things they think are nice, they would consider switching providers to get them.

Patient engagement has become an industry buzzword and the “consumerization of healthcare” has put increasing pressure on providers. Luckily, enhancing patient engagement has benefits for your practice too. Nearly half of patients would like to have online scheduling. Every appointment scheduled online eliminates a four-minute phone call into your practice, freeing staff to focus on the patients at the front desk. Reduce phone calls even more with secure electronic communications with patients.

Saving time is great but these features can also increase revenue. Patients want text and email reminders. Using them ensures patients show up for the care they need and reduces your no-shows by up to 50%. Preventing just one no-show a day results in $25,000 in increased revenue per year.

You can improve the patient experience by providing the tools patients are looking for like online scheduling, email and text communications, a secure portal, and more. And, it doesn’t have to be at a financial loss. Tweet this Kareo story

Before you implement any new strategies to recruit new patients or increase appointments from existing patients, it is important to understand what patients are looking for in a provider today. Patients aren’t just looking for a physician using their health plan directory anymore. They don’t want to call and be put on hold for 30 minutes or wait three weeks for an appointment. Patients want the availability, accessibility, and efficiency they expect in all of their other consumer transactions.

Patients are looking for providers who fit the bill by searching websites, social media, and review and rating sites before they even make the first phone call. This means that you need to have a clean, professional, engaging website and an active Facebook page, and you need to manage and monitor your ratings and reviews.

Depending on what service the patient is seeking and their level of knowledge, they will look at:

  1.  Medicare safety ratings
  2. Yelp listings
  3. Physician rating sites like www.healthgrades.com
  4. Facebook
  5. Your practice website

Use these sites to learn what patients think you do well and where you need to improve. You can also learn what patients are looking for in a new provider. If they want online scheduling, offer it. If the patients are asking for extended hours, consider that option.

If you still aren’t sure what your patients want, ask them. Patient surveys are a great way to gauge patient experience and satisfactions and make improvements to your practice. You might be surprised by what you learn and how that knowledge can impact your success.

For more tips to independent practice success, download 8 Ways to Keep Your Name on the Door.

About the Author

Adria Schmedthorst is a writer focusing on the medical device, technology, software, and healthcare industries. Adria is the founder of AMS Copy and a healthcare professional herself with more than 10 years in practice. She now uses her knowledge of the industry to help companies achieve their goals of writing content that speaks to the hearts and minds of medical professionals. She has been featured in blogs, written articles, and other publications for the industry, and ghostwritten books for doctors in both the United States and Australia.

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Welcome to Getting Paid, a weblog by Kareo offering ideas, news and opinions about medical billing and practice management with the goal of making medical billing easier and yes, getting you paid. Visit the Product Blog for more information on our products.

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