What Your Practice Can Learn from the Micropractice Model

The micropractice concept is a relatively simple one to grasp. Micropractice physicians aim to streamline their practice as much as possible by reducing practice costs down to the bare essentials.

The traditional micropractice consists of a single physician with only one staff member working in a proportionately sized office space. The two work in tandem to carry out all aspects of running a practice, from treating patients to answering phone calls. It doesn’t sound ideal, but some physicians are actually prospering with this model.

By eliminating all of the nonessentials from their practices, micropractice physicians claim to enjoy more personal interaction with patients and increased cost savings. But of course, switching to this model of care isn’t necessarily feasible for most physicians.

However, that doesn’t mean your practice can’t benefit from the key pillars of micropractice medicine that cultivate a more streamlined, cost-effective practice.

Embrace Health IT

How is it possible that micropractice doctors have any time to see patients if they only have one staff member helping with administrative tasks? Healthcare technology is the answer.

By automating some of the more tedious steps in the patient encounter, EHRs allow physicians to treat patients more quickly without sacrificing the quality of care they provide. For example, ePrescribing takes a process that normally involves a fair amount of writing and reduces it to a few simple clicks of the mouse.

Practice management software, meanwhile, speeds up many administrative processes. Filing claims is a prime example.

Paper claims filing typically involves checking patient eligibility, double-checking codes, and reviewing payer rules, but these steps are eliminated with practice management software that automates these duties.

Place Responsibility in the Patients’ Hands

By delegating certain tasks to patients, micropractices are able to relieve themselves of duties that bog down traditional practices. Patient portals are particularly helpful in this regard.

A quality patient portal allows patients to access health records, view lab results, and even schedule appointments. This means your staff doesn’t have to waste any time performing these tasks. Patients are also relieved of the extra calls or visits they’d have to make to your practice.

Reduce Staff Costs

Because they have to decrease the size of their patient base in order to provide sufficient care, micropractices rely heavily on reducing staffing costs as much as possible.

Keeping just enough staff on hand to operate effectively is a good idea for practices of all sizes. One way to do this is by hiring employees with multiple skills. An example might be a biller who also serves as a functional receptionist or an RN who has some coding experience.

Another way to cut staffing costs is by outsourcing administrative duties like billing. Outsourced medical billing has been shown to be less expensive than maintaining an on-site billing staff. Billing companies typically only charge a small percentage of your collections.

While the micropractice concept may be a bit extreme, it does provide valuable lessons for physicians. By streamlining your operations as much as possible, you can not only survive but thrive.

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