Ready to expand your service opportunities and increase revenue?
As soaring healthcare costs have caused some insurers to reduce the rates at which they reimburse physicians for some services rendered to patients, physicians' revenues get squeezed. In response to decreasing income, some physicians are considering alternative methods of serving their patients to increase revenue. It is imperative to perform a cost/risk analysis of any expansion to ensure successful growth and protect your business endeavors.
The physician can start to determine the risks by asking several questions, such as:
- What are the financial risks associated with new services?
- Are there other risks unbeknownst to me?
- Do my current insurance policies cover such risks?
- Am I responsible for the acts of other providers occupying my office space but who are not part of my practice? May I delegate procedural tasks and, if so, then to whom?
Consider these risk management recommendations associated with expanded services:
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- Contact your insurance agent to discuss insurance coverage for your new service and any additional employees.
- If you are planning on delegating procedural tasks, check state statutes and regulations regarding to whom such tasks may be delegated. If your state/regulatory body is silent or ambiguous on this point call your attorney for assistance.
- Develop policies and procedures that support patient safety and clearly define the distinct roles of your employees and the tasks to be performed. Thoroughly vet employees for credentialing and licensure, and conduct appropriate training and education on practice standards and procedures.
- Develop robust informed consent processes and forms for relevant procedures, addressing the risks associated with the procedures and available alternatives. Informed consent is not just a signed form, but a conversational process that should be clearly documented in the patient's medical record.
- If you are renting space to another provider, such as a physical therapist or a sleep study group, make it clear to patients that the entities are separate, to avoid possible claims under the legal theory of ostensible agency.
- Consider hiring a reputable company to monitor and manage the maintenance and safety of new equipment.
- Maintain a written transfer agreement with a nearby acute care facility to handle emergencies.
COPYRIGHTED: RisKey emails are a publication of Coverys' Risk Management Department. This information is intended to provide general guidelines for risk management. It is not intended and should not be construed as legal or medical advice.