Spectrum Health Partners helps Physician Practices Respond to Today’s Challenges

Patients in the year 2021 expect significantly more from their physicians and advanced practice providers than in years past. Trends that were emerging, such as telehealth, text alerts and virtual office hours, have accelerated during the pandemic. Physician practices that haven’t adjusted to the changes are seeing patients leave their medical practices and are facing difficulties gaining new ones.

Consultants at Spectrum Health Partners (SHP) possess specialized experience in the realm of Physician Practice Management. These seasoned experts bring the tools, skills and strategies needed to assist physician practices of all categories and specialties to become more efficient and effective, increase revenues, maximize collections, reduce expenses and improve patient access and satisfaction.

“Patients today are behaving as consumers who expect access to care when they want and need it,” said Mark Gorman, a Principal with SHP with nearly 30 years as a healthcare financial and operational leader. “Patients want more telehealth opportunities, easy scheduling, same-day, evening, and weekend appointments, quick telephone prescription refills and online patient portals. The operating models used by some practices aren’t where they need to be.”

Robert W. Kirk, FACMPE, a SHP Principal, has worked with hundreds of physician practices over his 30-year career, from small single specialties to giant multispecialty groups consisting of 1,200 to 1,500 physicians.

In reviewing an organization, Robert said, “You’re looking at soft targets, such as leadership and governance, to hard opportunities around patient access, staffing, hours of operation, provider productivity and then to revenue cycle management, coding, compliance, collections and operating expenses.”

Evaluating an organization requires excellent listening skills and the ability to establish a relationship with the doctors, according to Robert. “When I approach with a partnership mindset, I establish a relationship with each physician and work to understand their practice,” he said. “You need to know and understand the real-life reasons the numbers are different than the benchmarks. When you develop a partnership and the physicians trust you and know that you value their input, you can work together on an improvement plan. Simply telling doctors what to do is not going to be a long-term solution. You might force a change, but it won’t be sustainable.”

A mantra Mark often repeats is, “If you’ve seen one physician practice, you’ve seen one physician practice.”

“Physicians and physician groups tend to be very different,” he said. “They’re all unique in terms of size and how they’ve set up their processes. Physicians are very independent. As a business consultant, you’ve got to put yourself literally and figuratively on the same side of the desk with them and find win-win strategies and solutions. You help them understand you’re not doing something to them, but you’re working with them to benefit their practice.”

Robert explained, “Most clinicians don’t have a strong business orientation or business operational experience. So, developing a partnership with physicians and clinical people allows the best of both worlds. You’re designing operational models that provide better patient access without overburdening the system and allowing the providers to be efficient and effective in providing patient care. It’s challenging work. But it’s rewarding when changes are implemented and you start seeing results, like better patient access, higher patient, staff and provider satisfaction scores, improved physician productivity, more revenue, and the organization is turning around both financially and operationally. It’s tremendously gratifying to see all those improvements. That’s why I do what I do.”

Physician practices contact Spectrum for several reasons, including:

  • Losing the CEO, COO or CFO of a medical group
  • Market share optimization
  • Declining reimbursement, improving cash collections
  • Falling patient satisfaction ratings
  • Setting up a patient access center or online scheduling system
  • Reorganizing staffing and management
  • Standardizing appointment scheduling
  • Reducing operating costs
  • Increasing patient access and improving patient experience
  • Strategic planning and provider alignment
  • Overall financial and operational improvements

For more information about Physician Practice Management with Spectrum Health Partners, call (615) 778-4650 or complete SHP’s online contact form.  To connect directly with Mark Gorman, click here. To connect directly with Robert W. Kirk, click here.

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