”The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services project an additional 14 million Medicare beneficiaries, plus another 9.6 million individuals on Medicaid, by 2023. That’s on top of the 48 million already enrolled in Medicare and the 70 million enrolled in Medicaid.”
How does an average healthcare practice react to these populations and continue to be successful?
- Embrace Medicare patients – engage them, encourage them, invite them to participate in their own well-being.
- Don’t see Medicare patients at all. See only patients with employer financed health insurance, or offer concierge services to those without insurance or a combination of both.
- Don’t accept Medicaid.
- Accept Medicaid and use NP’s to treat this population.
There are multiple strategies for success in this growing population of patients who are also more likely to need chronic illness services. Depending upon your specialty, it will be important that you “run the numbers” in your demographics to assess the strategy that will work best for you.
“Plan your work and work your plan.” Wise words. The plan you put into place must be a well thought out, carefully constructed and monitored plan that can be proven to be successful. If you can’t measure it, you don’t know if it’s working. Whatever your plan, you must include technology in it. Recently, I needed a ophthalmologist consult. As I am participating in a MCR HMO, I got on line and found who was in my network. I emailed my primary care provider and asked them to get a referral (which they did and then informed me of terms via secure email) I went on web site of Ophthalmologist and scheduled an appointment, filled out new patient forms, and was able to see what charges for services were going to run. I also got a text reminder of appointment. It was painless, it was efficient and it worked. It reduced office staff time on phone, exchanged necessary information…mission accomplished
Don’t underestimate how well the MCR aged folks will react to technology. You may be surprised how computer savvy many of us are and what we are willing to do to comply with your healthcare practice’s wishes. Not all will comply, but many will. If you decide not to accept federally funded patients, be prepared for the population that not only embraces the technology, but will find the answers to many of their questions on line and then challenge you with them. Today’s average professional are smart and strong willed. They have specific requirements and accept nothing less. Just sayin’
Know your target demographics. Know your products. Know your strategy. Craft your plan. Find the best and the brightest to work in your healthcare practice (yes, you will have to pay them well, but you won’t need as many) and work your plan.