Patient-Centered Care Goes Beyond the Exam Room

Lea Chatham August 20th, 2013

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It is easy to think that patient-centered care all takes place in the exam room. Whether it is the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) or other care coordination and meaningful use programs, the focus is on building a relationship with a primary physician, improving access to that physician or clinic, and coordinating patient care more effectively. But there is really more to it than that.

Patient-centered care is about the entire patient experience. It is designed to improve care and to reduce costs through a wide range of activities across your practice and throughout the healthcare system. As you can see in this graphic, a critical piece of the puzzle is improved practice management, billing and use of technology.

patient-centered care information from Kareo

Essentially, when you choose to participate in a model like this one you are optimizing your practice. Even if you aren’t ready to try to qualify as a PCMH, these strategies can help you improve care so that you can be more competitive in a healthcare market that is more driven be patient satisfaction than ever before. Improved patient engagement, access to medical records via a portal, more open information about cost, and electronic prescribing are just a few of the things patient say that they want.

If it seems overwhelming and you are wondering where to start, consider the area where you already have experience and expertise—billing. Improving revenue and optimizing coding and billing are areas where you can already easily run reports and conduct an analysis of your business. Set clear best practice goals and begin to work towards achieving them one but one. There are general standards for best practice billing across the healthcare industry. Considering using these are your goals:

  • Less than 40 average days in A/R
  • Less than 12% average days in A/R over 120
  • No more than 4% total unpaid claims
  • 96-98% net collection rate
  • 5% or less denial rate

There are many strategies you can use to achieve these results. For some guidance on improving one or all of these areas, visit Kareo’s Resources page, which offers educational webinars, white papers and short videos on these and other topics. You can also register there for our upcoming webinar, The Patient-Centered Practice.

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