20 Ways to Cut Practice Costs and Boost Revenue

Michael D. Brown, CHBC


October 04, 2010

In This Article

Streamline Coding and Procedures

5. You can increase revenue through efficiencies and correct coding. Doctors need to be a lot more aware of coding and documentation; it's the physician's responsibility and must be done at the time of the encounter. Don't expect your coders to pick up everything. Doctors could benefit by taking coding seminars or making sure to stay up to date in other ways.

6. Streamline your coding process. Use the previous coding and dates repetitively from the routing slips. Have a "quick" coding sheet in the exam room.

7. Maximize Evaluation and Management (E/M) coding, office calls, and with commercial carriers what is remaining with consultation codes. Make sure you document for the highest level of service you're providing.

8. Create your own routing slip. Doing so can be an amazing time-saver. Create a routing slip with your current management information systems. Assign your office manager or billing specialist to make up a new routing slip. Capture eScribe and PQRI (Physician Quality Reporting Initiative) with an additional routing slip for Medicare fee-for-service patients. This will save money and make you more efficient.

9. Develop and follow preferred practice patterns to capture services and charges. Organize a standard conversation sequence that you have with patients, designed to elicit the maximum information in the most efficient amount of time. Have patients pay with cash or credit card.

10. Use physician schedules to their fullest. Schedule testing that takes clinical time when the doctor is out of the office. Do "tech" clinical testing without the doctor being right there. Some tests don't require the doctor at all.

11. Develop protocols for the top 10 diagnoses in the practice and have the nurse clinician or other technical staff on board make suggestions to improve performance. For example, if a monthly review of your charts shows that you're seeing a large number of patients with diabetes or heart trouble, develop a sequence of instructions as to what to do. Ask your office manager or medical assistants or partners to work on the best workflow or series of clinical activities for treating these patients. In this way, your office develops its own "best practices" that are most useful as well as efficient.

12. Create a "war room" for the exam room. Every exam room should be completely equipped with exactly what you need, and a staff member should check every exam room at the start of each day to make sure it's stocked, so that you don't lose time looking for things you need. The room should include special testing equipment; forms for special testing to expedite documentation, history and physical examination packets for surgery scheduling, and stethoscope to perform limited history and physical examination, if applicable. For full history and physical examinations, have a complete set of forms to be utilized, advanced beneficiary notification forms available for noncovered services, and sterilized instruments for minor procedures.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: