Your Time is Valuable – Protect Your Practice AND Your Time!
You’ve heard the business truism that you have to spend money to make money, right? Consider this: you also have to spend time in order to make time.
In 2009, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners’ survey found that the average DC spent over 40 percent of their time on administrative tasks and paperwork (up from 35 percent in 1998). Today, that percentage has undoubtedly increased.
Changes in HIPAA, MIPS, emphasis on compliance requirements, and, increase of payor audits and denials, all scream to us that the business side of running your practice has become increasingly more complicated and time-consuming. Most of the doctors we talk to are feeling extreme information overload and have the sense that they spend more time trying to keep up with regulatory changes, paperwork, and documentation requirements than they do caring for and educating patients.
In this, as in so many things, the only way out is through. By putting in the time now to get a handle on administrative issues, you will end up having more time with your patients down the road.
Systems, procedures, and policies take time up front to implement—but they save time in the long run. Here are just a few of the best time investments you can make now to create more time to spend with your patients later:
- Automate your New Patient System with a complete set of forms that include intake, examination, diagnosis, treatment plan, SOAP notes, progress evaluations, discharge, and subsequent documentation of ongoing maintenance care.
- Get Right with Medicare. A distressing number of doctors still aren’t clear on the difference between active (covered) care—care deemed medically necessary for the relief, correction and stabilization of a condition—and maintenance care, sometimes called wellness or preventative care aimed at maintaining health after the patient has been discharged from active care. If doctors don’t understand this, you can bet patients don’t, either. Make sure you have brochures, forms, and scripts in place to explain this unequivocally to your patients—and you’ll seldom have to spend time on this again.
- Stay up to speed with coding and billing guidelines. A new year often brings new rules, updated payor policies, updated coding guidelines, and more. Unfortunately, many practices don’t proactively address these critical areas. As such, documentation slips, claims are denied and rejected, and payor guidelines are learned the hard way.
Yes, all this takes time, and no, there really aren’t any shortcuts. But if you create the time to take care of business now, in what is traditionally a slow business quarter for most practices, your investment will pay off in more time to spend doing what you love—caring for patients—for the rest of the year. Documentation continues to be a weakness in many practices and one reason for this is time management. View the complete paperwork system available, which is sure to save you time and help to ensure your compliance with current guidelines!