Healthcare Management Systems Help Doctors Ease Into Retirement
Changes in the health industry require a need for effective healthcare management systems.
With innovation in medicine and government regulations, the healthcare industry is rapidly changing. The family doctor is becoming obsolete, and more and more physicians and healthcare professionals are going to work for larger hospitals. Some doctors are retiring and some are consolidating their medical practice. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte, a consulting firm, 62% of 20,000 physicians may retire earlier than expected. Why is this? There are a myriad of reasons why physicians are deciding to close their healthcare practice; some of the most common reasons for healthcare retirement include:
- Government regulations
- Disappointed by the future of medicine
- Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements
- Medical practice consolidation
- Changes in healthcare
The rapid changes in the future of medicine often require healthcare practitioners to act quickly and think outside of the box. Many healthcare associates are aware of the challenges they may face when changing the status of their practice or retiring. This is why many healthcare practitioners make an effort to implement an effective healthcare management system.
How can doctors in transition integrate effective healthcare management systems?
When doctors retire or consolidate their medical practice, it’s not as simple as closing up shop and riding off into the sunset. Physicians still need to address important issues that are beyond management of medical records. Whether doctors are retiring or going to work for a hospital or another medical practice, they have to address the following issues before, during and after transition:
- Financial and tax planning
- Account receivables
- Legal issues
- Information technology issues
- Management of patient records
- Preserving and protecting patient information and healthcare records
While there are many issues that need to be addressed, one of the most challenging aspects of consolidating a healthcare practice or retiring is the management of patient records.
What physicians need to know before they retire or consolidate their healthcare practice.
Many physicians are unaware that they have an ongoing responsibility to maintain and manage their patient medical records well after they leave their practice. Depending on the State physicians live in and the legal structure of their healthcare practice, some may be required to maintain medical records for more than 21 years after the patient’s last visit.
If physicians or healthcare professionals do not have a proper healthcare management system in place before their transition, it can cause more harm than good. Not only that but if there is an error in providing information or improper management procedures, it can cause a HIPAA breach, which may result in fines and other penalties.
Why should physicians seek a custodian after they consolidate or close their healthcare practice?
It can be an onerous task to provide copies of medical records to patients, attorneys, insurance companies, and other authorized individuals who need access to medical records. If physicians are planning to retire or consolidate their healthcare practice, the last thing they want to do is worry about medical records management.
That’s why it’s imperative for physicians in transition to seek a custodian for management of their medical records. What is a custodian? Simply put, a custodian is someone who stores and manages medical records for physicians who retire, close their healthcare practice or consolidate their practice. A custodian can be another physician, a hospital, or a third party healthcare management agency.
The custodian and the healthcare professional will usually create a written agreement outlining the custodian/physician relationship and how medical record management will be handled. Simply put, a custodian allows physicians to have a “hands off” approach when offering management of medical records. Healthcare professionals can reduce the expense and liability of managing patient records when they choose a custodian for their closed or consolidated practice.
How can a document management company help you with your healthcare management needs?
If you are a physician in need of a reliable company to help you with your healthcare management needs, you can rest assured a good medical records management company will do the following:
- Minimize the amount of HIPAA risk and become a custodian of all records
- Store patient records electronically according to HIPAA guidelines
- Fulfill patient record requests in a timely manner
- Monitor and track record requests, complete with an audit trail
- Offer a “hands off” approach to management of medical records for physicians
Discover how physicians can obtain proper healthcare management today!
When it comes to retiring or consolidating a medical practice, healthcare professionals have a lot on their plate. However, with proper planning, an exit strategy, and a robust healthcare management system, healthcare practitioners can make a smooth transition without having to worry about management of medical records.
If you are a physician who is looking to retire or consolidate your practice, management of your medical records should be the last thing on your mind. If you need assistance with your retirement goals and/or healthcare management plans, give us a call and schedule a free consultation today!