Top 10 Challenges For Independent Physicians: Our December Series (Part 2 of 3)

By Christopher Hughey

What are the top challenges facing small- to medium-sized, independent physicians as they fight to maintain their independence and compete with the large, corporate providers? This month, we are looking at the top 10 challenges, so please join us for this informative series and tune back in every Tuesday! If you’re reading this post first, please go back and read Part 1 from last week, where we looked at why doctors should even be fighting the battle for independence, as well as challenges one through three (high insurance claim rejections, slow reimbursements, and clunky, user-unfriendly, overpriced EMR systems). Let’s move on to causes four through seven today!

4) High merchant services costs. Not a lot of physicians think about this one, but it’s yet another way smaller providers pay more than larger providers. Many smaller practices pay well over 3% on credit card transactions and can’t even take online payments. We have changed all that. By leveraging the buying power of thousands of doctors, we get rates as low as 1.79% on merchant services for Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. And we can help doctors accept payments online and even offer a free, full-service patient portal. All in a fully HIPAA-compliant payment solution designed especially for doctors.

5) Scheduling nightmares. Unlike the larger providers, many smaller practices do not offer online scheduling. And they often find that their waiting room times are unpredictable and unmanageable, leading to decreased patient satisfaction. Again, we bring technology to bear to solve this: we offer a system that not only allows for online scheduling, but even helps doctors optimize their patients’ waiting room experience and reduces patient dissatisfaction by minimizing waiting room times.

6) Struggling with HIPAA and coding compliance. This is a constant challenge for all providers, but it hits smaller providers harder because the costs of compliance are higher in relation to their revenue, especially if they manage compliance entirely in house. We can help doctors get and stay HIPAA compliant and we also do coding audits to ensure they aren’t overcoding (dangerous!) or undercoding (costly!). By outsourcing this, smaller providers can leverage the expertise they need but at a cost they can afford.

7) Drowning in paper. While most practices are trending towards paperless environments thanks to EMR systems, many still have large volumes of old paper files they have to manage. It’s not just costly to store these, it’s also a giant HIPAA-violation waiting to happen. We have a solution that is a very cost-effective hybrid: by partnering with local, secured-site records companies and using our own iDocsNow technology, we can help smaller providers get rid of all paper in their offices. For files they don’t need to access very often (potentially ever), we can have the documents stored for as little as $0.30 per box per month, then have them safely destroyed once they no longer need to be maintained. For paper files the office may need to access more frequently, we can have them scanned and entered into iDocsNow, our paperless file management system that converts paper files into OCR-based, fully searchable PDFs in our Cloud system. Then, going forward, any new paper files would be scanned into the system and destroyed immediately. We can even provide discounted pricing on HIPAA-compliant shredders.

Tune in next week as we look at causes eight through ten!