By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
ICD-10 is here, and the sound business advice for the foreseeable futures is: “Conserve cash. And boost your marketing efforts for fee-for-service options.”
For the next few months, medical practices are going to be wrestling with more than a few problems during the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Although there’s been a long run up, nobody expects it to be smooth, quick or easy. Most likely, it will be a financial pinch-point.
In fact, major insurance entities are encouraging practices to hold more cash in reserve for the next six months as ICD-10 is implemented. As virtually everyone expects, the anticipated challenges include a rugged-road slow down of reimbursements to practices. Conserve cash in the business to pay staff and pay bills.
If the big carriers have been directing this warning to providers, there’s a high degree of confidence that the often-sluggish reimbursement pipeline will be slow (or slower than ever) until the dust settles sometime next year.
In short, if the big guys are raising the red flag, it’s prudent to think it’s not a simple caution, and that they plan to deliver on that promise.
The marketing-smart defense…
With a predicted timeline of at least six months, some medical practices will be scrambling to minimize expenses. (That’s something most have been doing for some time.)
But those practices that already have—or are now willing to provide—a retail, private pay or elective care component may not be as severely affected if they intensify their marketing efforts for cash services.
Reducing reliance on insurance reimbursements—and increasing opportunities in fee-for-service—are good strategies to consider most any time. But the “fair warning” alert from the name brand carriers signals an opportunity—perhaps a necessity—to increase marketing of retail services and relieve cash flow stress.
For more help with this, here’s some useful insight on How to Grow Your Private Pay and Elective Care Business. What’s more, we’re here to help. Connect with us today and let’s talk about a practical and effective defense against the coming ICD-10 slowdown.