Wednesday, June 6, 2012
This Week's News
AMA online resource center simplifies practice management
Managing a medical practice in an ever-changing health care environment can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't need to. The AMA's newly redesigned online Practice Management Center provides practical guidance to help physicians run their practices smoothly and efficiently.
From managed care contracting and claims management to new payment models and patient satisfaction, the online Practice Management Center serves as a kind of virtual practice consultant, offering physicians guidance when and how they want it.
The new Knowledge Center provides access to a wide variety of information. A library of archived webinars hosted by practice management experts offer advice on key topics, including how to use CPT® modifiers, file complaints against unfair payer practices and select a new practice management system. The Knowledge Center's resources and answers to frequently asked questions make it easy for physicians and their staff to find assistance with specific issues at the moment they need it.
The online center also offers extensive guidance to help doctors streamline their practice and participate in new payment models. Physicians can learn how to automate such time-intensive tasks as verifying a patient's eligibility, securing prior authorization from a health insurer and checking on the status of a claim. A series of toolkits and webinars walks physicians through the steps of moving from manual tasks to electronic processes, and an online community (registration required) provides a forum to learn from peers' insights and experiences in making this transition.
A "how-to" manual helps physicians evaluate new payment models, including payment bundling, pay-for-performance, withholds and risk pools, capitation and shared savings. Physicians can learn more about how these payment options work and the risks they should evaluate. The manual also explains how to negotiate new financial arrangements. A separate manual focuses entirely on options and considerations for physicians who are interested in participating in accountable care organizations.
The resource center's insights and tools draw thousands of physicians and practice managers each year. Since January, more than 136,000 visitors have come to the AMA website for practice management assistance.
Popular tools include:
- The National Managed Care Contract Database. A valuable tool for evaluating and negotiating managed care contracts and holding health insurers accountable to fair business practices, the database lets physicians search and compare model contract language and laws from around the country.
- The Claims Workflow Assistant. Physicians can look up the reasons health insurers report for denying electronic claims and determine the best course of action to reverse the denials.
- The AMA Practice Management Alerts. This system delivers timely email alerts about practice and payer issues specific to the unique needs of a physician and his or her practice.