Balancing the cost of care while still paying attention to all of the needs of your office takes patience, experience in the field, and further innovation in how your practice handles medical billing and coding. A lot of this is going to revolve around your practice's nonclinical schedule. How you handle these moments will have a direct impact on physician and patient well-being and keep your practice more commercially viable.

Dr. Chuck Thigpen, a clinical research scientist, and Dr. Michael Kissenberth, the vice chair of orthopedics at the Greenville Health System, recently penned their thoughts on how practices can "flip the tunnel" on these inconsistencies in Becker's Hospital Review. For their example, the focused on their similar experiences in sports medicine and military medical service models.

For example, the doctors used their specialized approach and created a clinically integrated method for treatment for shoulder pain. This ailment is currently second to back pain for Americans when it comes to disability as well as cost and impairs up to 20 percent of the population, many of them seniors. Obviously with Medicare being a main source of care for seniors, this can create issues with physician billing services. A majority of these injuries are rotator cuff injuries, which require the opinion of a surgeon and usually an MRI. According to doctors, a more efficient way of handling this is by using more thorough patient examinations and imaging during primary care so that seniors don't have to wait around for an MRI.

Other ways to increase physician productivity
Even if you aren't an orthopedic surgeon who works on rotator cuff surgeries, you can still find time-efficient ways to make the most of your work day. According to Dr. Mary Applegate, a professor of medicine at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, wrote out a very informative set of practice efficiency standards that can not only improve the quality of your care, but also increase patient satisfaction. Here are some of her best tips:

  • Make the most of face-to-face time with your patients: This helps them feel more connected and helps to eliminate redundancies with medical billing.
  • Create timelines and stick to them: Medical assistants can suffer from work fatigue too. Plan breaks, vacation and other events that might take time away from your workload so that work doesn't pile up.
  • Communication is key: It's important to really listen to your patients and respond honestly so that there are no surprises for you or them when patient billing occurs.

Whether you specialize your practice's efficiency standards or implement an across-the-board strategy, creating a streamlined workflow is key for any medical office.