For Small Practices, The Time Is Right for Business Intelligence
by Matt Barron
Small medical offices are dealing with increased patient volumes, Meaningful Use, Accountable Care Organizations, ICD-10, and declining reimbursement. Accordingly, physicians are spending less time with patients and more time dealing with the noise that surrounds the business of medicine.
Many small practices already have a critical solution at hand — they just need a better way to access and use it. The solution is big data, a trendy term for all the digital information medical practices already have in the form of electronic health records, billing records, practice management information, and more.
The trick is that big data alone doesn’t do much, and until recently, the software that small medical practices need to turn all that data into meaningful business intelligence was too expensive and difficult to use.
Now business intelligence software is more advanced and ready to address the needs of small medical practices that have been wary of adopting cutting edge software because it was too costly and cumbersome.
Let’s take a look at a few ways BI software can help boost the financial health—and the quality of patient care—at small practices:
- Market segment analysis. To help practices find and generate more revenue, the latest software enables geographic analysis that determines where patients are coming from so practices can better target their marketing efforts.
- Claims management. Advanced tools make it simpler to increase first-time reimbursement capture and support follow through on denied and underpaid claims.
- Financial overviews. Financial overviews and details on the state of the practice are available in seconds with automatic comparisons to key performance indicators. Physicians can view revenue cycle performance, and find out how many days it takes to collect on accounts receivable. Armed with this information, they can institute best practices, make comparisons among various payers, and increase the overall productivity of their practices.
- Compliance support. The latest business intelligence software is designed to work with and address new requirements and regulations. It’s ICD-10 compliant and can be used to track progress toward demonstrating Meaningful Use and earning stimulus money.
- Individualized patient care. Physicians can create customizable health plans to manage patient conditions based on demographics, diagnoses, lab results, and more. They can check on whether the plans are being followed, automatically determining whether patients had their tests taken and viewing the results. By setting up alerts and reminders, physicians can also see which patients are most prone to a chronic disease, how many risk factors they have, and what actions can be taken to successfully manage the disease or avoid it altogether.
- Aggregate patient care. Physicians can track patient health trends over time and send reminders to patients automatically, providing medical advice and suggestions. On a broader level, the latest software makes it possible to uncover patient population trends and spot disease outbreaks, even determining by ZIP code which population segments are most at risk.
Today’s business intelligence software is more powerful, more affordable, more secure, and far easier to use.
Matt Barron is COE leader of business intelligence and consulting at ADP AdvancedMD of South Jordan, UT.