29 Apr Starting a Practice: Why Hire a Medical Practice Consultant?
On October 1, 2014 a new set of codes will be implemented in the U.S., switching from the ICD-9 to the ICD-10. The ICD-9 has been used in the U.S. to code diagnoses since 1979, but it cannot account for rapidly growing technology in the field of medicine.
In order to combat this shortcoming, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services funded a project to create a new system that could account for the growth in technology. The ICD-10-PCS was created to replace the old system. Because of these changes, if a practice is just starting out, it is not only a good idea to hire a medical practice consultant, it is almost necessary.
Benefits of Hiring a Medical Practice Consultant
A medical practice consultant is someone who is able to consult with medical practitioners on the business and administrative side of the practice, while allowing the health professionals to handle the clinical concerns. This is a major benefit for fledgling medical practices, especially with the new ICD-10 system transformation happening on October 1st. Other benefits include:
- The consultant would be able to assist the practice in getting all the billing and coding information up-to-date, so that the transition will be smooth once it occurs. MPMR has experts in medical billing and ICD 10.
- Hiring a medical practice consultant allows the old system to remain in place while the consultant establishes the new one.
- A medical practice consultant holds a fresh perspective on a new practice. He or she would be able to come in and help establish the business and administrative side of the practice without holding any biases towards anyone in the practice.
- A consultant allows the practice to create a strong foundation on which to grow. It is helpful to have someone from the outside help a new practice establish themselves from a non-clinical side of things. This means helping with marketing and advertising in addition to setting up the business side of things. A private practice is, in effect, a business, and so hiring someone who understands business is an essential part of beginning a practice.
- Not only is it important to hire a medical practice consultant to help out with the business side of things, it is also important to hire a medical practice consultant to help with the rapidly changing health insurance industry. With the new health insurance plans being put into place by the government, it is useful to hire someone new who can help a growing practice adapt to the changes quickly and effectively.
- Having an outside perspective makes it easier for them to adapt to new situations. This is because they have not yet experienced the ones that were already established. It can make the transition much easier for a new practice.
The healthcare system is changing rapidly, so whether the new practice is managed by someone who’s never run a practice or by someone who has experience, it is a good idea to consider hiring a medical practice consultant in order to help unify all the changes in the system.
Handling both the administrative and the clinical side of a practice can be overwhelming, especially if the practice is just beginning. These things are merely exacerbated by the rapid growth in technology, the changes in the billing system, and the changes in the insurance system that will be implemented in the next few years. Having a third party perspective would be helpful when trying to navigate through all the different aspects of beginning a new practice.