Dragging Affiliated Practices into the Black
A recent survey showed that hospitals were losing an average of $53,971 annually per full time equivalent in acquired primary care groups. Michael J. Beautyman, Esq., chairperson of Beautyman Alvstad LLP, recommends four solutions for floundering hospital-affiliated practices:
Revise the Hospital-Physician Contract
- Recognize physicians as key stakeholders.
- Use incentives (empowerment, professional pride, financial) and share control.
- Update pension arrangements; cash-balance plans are the wave of the future.
Encourage a Physician Network Separate from the Hospital
- Work toward physicians' financial self-sufficiency to sharpen motivation, spur a higher collection rate, and garner emotional loyalty.
Decentralize Physician Billing
- Have billing personnel report to physicians, including weekly A/R status printouts.
- Tie a portion of physician and billing personnel compensation to collections.
Negotiate Payer Contracts with a Modified Messenger Model
- Encourage payers to be more reasonable by making them go through the same negotiator for a number of providers of the same specialty in the same geographic area.
This material was adapted from the Beautyman Alvstad Newsletter at www.beautyman.com/html/newsletter.htm . Mr. Beautyman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Publication Date: Friday, May 01, 2009