4 Reasons Your Ophthalmology Practice Needs a Management Services Organization (MSO)

Doctors at meeting

Why do people decide to become eye surgeons? While there is no singular answer to this question, many ophthalmologists might answer that they have a driving passion to help/heal people or to improve their quality of life. Perhaps vision care or general health care runs in the family and they wish to continue the tradition. Or perhaps a personal experience or tragedy directed them to the profession.

What you most likely won’t hear for an answer is, “I enjoy the management aspect of my ophthalmology practice and I relish in the fact that it can actually reduce some of my patient interaction time.”

Let’s face it: medical practices are complex entities. Not only do you have to provide outstanding medical care, you also have to be mindful of HIPAA compliance, medical billing, payroll, human resources, equipment/technology purchases and a whole host of other issues involved in running a successful business. Plus, you must make sure that you are spending your money wisely on outside services so you are promoting a healthy bottom line.

It’s hard for most ophthalmology practices to do everything on their own – regardless of how large the practice is. That’s why more and more practices are turning to Management Services Organizations (MSOs).

What is a Healthcare MSO?

The function of a healthcare MSO, as defined by Wikipedia, is to:

“Provide practice management and administrative support services to individual physicians and group practices. One purpose of MSOs is to relieve physicians of non-medical business functions so that they can concentrate on the clinical aspects of their practice.”

When your practice enters into an MSO agreement, you can typically save money on the services and supplies you already purchase on a regular basis. MSOs make use of their large group volume to enter into agreements with suppliers so you have access to better pricing on various supplies and professional services. In this type of agreement, your practice remains separate from the MSO and continues to operate as you see fit – you just benefit from the group preferred pricing that has been arranged.

A Different Type of MSO

There is also a type of MSO in which your tangible assets are purchased from your practice by the MSO. Your property becomes owned by the MSO and it can be leased back to your practice as needed. While it can alleviate some of the hassles of ongoing management of the assets, it does remove some of your control.

Who Owns an MSO?

An MSO can be owned by any number of groups:

  • Individual, private investors
  • Hospitals
  • Physician groups
  • Health plans

Regardless of who owns the MSO, the purpose is to help your practice save money and improve your revenue flow.

Typical MSO Services: 4 Reasons You Need an MSO

1. Medical Billing & Collection Efficiency

Correcting a person’s vision is only half the battle when it comes to the full patient cycle. One of the greatest challenges you probably face is collecting payments for services. It has been reported that approximately 25% of all medical practice income is lost due to incorrect coding, underpricing, missed or never submitted charges and nonexistent or improper follow-up.

By hiring a medical billing company to handle the ever-changing details of this complex system, you can focus on providing patient care; not dealing with red tape. When you have professionals in your court, they will handle processes like:

  • Eligibility
  • Claims submissions
  • Denial management
  • Collections
  • Payment processing
  • AR management
  • Financial management
  • Reconciliations

The result? The right billing company that has highly trained professionals who focus on ophthalmologists, who can position your practice to receive faster payments resulting in increased revenue for your practice.

2: Clinical Efficiency

Patient satisfaction is more important than ever – largely because negative and positive feedback about your practice can be shared so easily online. You must provide a positive patient experience, not only with your vision outcomes, but with every single touch point with your practice: phone calls, website visits, moving through your office, etc.

By hiring professionals to analyze your patient flow, report on the findings and implement changes, you will be doing everything possible to thwart negative experiences. Professional services can help manage:

  • Ease in patient scheduling
  • Patient intake processes
  • Patient flow in your office
  • Clinical staff utilization and productivity
  • Utilization of your physical space
  • Documentation
  • EMR utilization
  • Staff education and training

The result? Happier patients that share their great experiences with friends, family and even strangers online – through review sites, social media, face-to-face encounters and more.

3. EPM/EHR Section and Implementation Efficiency

Simply choosing an EPM and EHR software vendor can be challenging, but the actual implementation can be even more overwhelming and potentially disastrous. Without a full-time, qualified Project Manager to coordinate all the EPM and EHR activities between the practice and the software vendor, your practice could possibly run into serious problems.

By hiring a qualified company to serve as your project manager, you can leave the management of these activities to the experts:

  • Strategic EPM/HER planning
  • Needs/readiness assessment
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation support

The result? A seamless implementation of your current technology with new systems and minimal impact on cash flow and patient care.

4. Organizational Structure & Management Effectiveness

Your ophthalmology practice won’t succeed if you don’t have a myriad of solid plans in place to run your business – regardless of how successful your vision surgeries are. Shareholders, physicians and the management team should all be on the same page with your roadmap for success. Often it takes a team of professionals to get there.

By enlisting the help of an MSO, you can get invaluable access to organizations that have proven success records handling things like:

  • Human resource management
  • Fiscal management
  • Interim management
  • Succession planning
  • Strategic vision
  • Medical equipment purchases
  • Marketing

The result? You’ll have a strong understanding of where you are now and where your practice is going in the future…and you’ll have the knowledge to make successful changes along the way.

Know What You’re Getting in the MSO

Before signing any MSO agreement, make sure you fully understand exactly what the terms are, limitations for usage and termination protocols. Advantage Healthcare Consulting is an MSO that has been in existence for 26 years. Our leadership team has over 85 years of combined experience in healthcare consulting. As a trusted business partner to leading healthcare organizations, we believe in putting our clients’ interests before our own. This level of service is derived from four core values:

  • Implementation
  • Value
  • Accessibility
  • Market leader

If you would like to learn more about your options to help manage and grow your ophthalmology practice, contact Advantage Healthcare Consulting a division of Advantage Administration, Inc. today.