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June 12, 2019

How Independent Physicians Can Leverage Tech for Value-Based Care

Value-based care. It’s more than just a buzzword. It’s a critical component of the future of healthcare, rewarding providers for both efficiency and effectiveness. And considering the strong new focus on healthcare consumerism today, value-based care is more important than ever, as providers must focus not only on keeping their current patient base happy, but also working to attract new patients in order to boost revenue streams.

This is especially true for today’s independent physicians. A recent report by McKinsey & Co. found many patients are willing to choose alternative methods of care over seeing their primary care physician (PCP). When asked why, nearly half cited accessibility (e.g., convenient locations, shorter waiting times, easier scheduling), with the majority of others mentioning cost.

So, just how can providers meet these changing patient demands while also increasing revenue? By leveraging user-friendly technology.

Top Three Technology Tools for Improving Revenue in the Era of Value-Based Care

Considering easier scheduling was a main factor cited by patients in the McKinsey report, it’s clear that independent practices could benefit from patient portals. These platforms also provide a more proactive approach for caregiver-patient communication and have been known to motivate patients to be more engaged in self-care.  

Studies show approximately 23% of patients fail to show up for their appointment unless proactively reminded. No-shows are a drain on a practice’s bottom line and a waste of a physician’s time. If the practice averages $115 per appointment and seven no-shows a week, that’s $805 lost in potential revenue. Automated appointment reminders via a patient portal provide a clear opportunity to improve revenues. By sending reminders, practices can reduce the number of no-shows by as much as 30%, gaining up to $12,500 each year.

To further increase patient satisfaction while also mitigating the potential revenue impact, independent practices also need technology that enables online payments. An article in Becker’s ASC Review found nine out of 10 patients want to pay their healthcare bills the same way they pay their other bills—online. The impact of online bill pay to a practice’s bottom line is substantial, as an additional $200 in patient payments collected per day equates to $50,000 in additional revenue each year. 

Transitioning away from paper-based faxing to electronic faxing technology is another way to see clear advantages quickly. At Updox, we have found that every 5,000 fax pages sent or received costs the average practice $155 in supplies and 55 staff hours each year. By reducing reliance on fax machines, practices can save $7,000 annually -- money that could go toward hiring additional staff or purchasing new technology. Before transitioning to electronic faxing, however, providers should look for solutions that are multifaceted. E-fax replacements must allow for an unlimited amount of numbers that can be assigned to individual offices, employees, or work queues. Additionally, practices should be able to access all fax messages from any computer, in any office, to further boost productivity and streamline workflows. 

The rise in consumerism and value-based care necessitates a change in the way providers do business. Leveraging technology is the foundation for future success, especially for independent physician practices. 

The best solutions are those that are quick to implement, easy to use, fit seamlessly into existing workflows, make it easier to engage with patients and won’t break the bank. To learn more about Updox and our packages to support value-based care, contact a member of our team today.

Topics: Physicians, Blog, communication, engagement