Medical practices not only hire more nonphysician practitioners (NPPs) to help keep up with their workloads, but many also find that this strategy helps enhance revenue, according to a report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).
Although the MGMA has consistently found since 2004 that practices that use NPPs tend to have higher compensation, this isn't the case in all situations, Laura Palmer, MGMA senior industry analyst, told Healthcare Finance News.
For instance, practices could lose money if they rely on NPPs and lack a fully credentialed physician at the practice, she said. Although NPPs can legally function as independent practitioners in many states, reimbursement is higher when they bill incident-to a supervising physician. The wrong number of NPPs could also undermine your efforts to increase productivity and lower overhead, MGMA noted.
In addition, financial success depends on a practice's ability to deliver high-quality care, noted David Taylor, vice president of regional services at CoxHealth in Springfield, Missouri. And for effective teamwork to occur, physician buy-in is a must, Taylor told FiercePracticeManagement in an exclusive interview. "We have five retail clinics in Walmarts, and we would have not been successful unless we had the support of our primary care base."
Finally, hold NPPs accountable for their performance just as you do physicians by establishing benchmarks for productivity, utilization and patient satisfaction.