By aggregating our volume and implementing proven concepts, we have reduced overhead and increased revenues for our locations. Contact us to learn more!
What is the current size of your practice?
27 physicians, 8 mid- level providers, 12 locations and over 220 employees.
What are the benefits of a rheumatology practice having multiple practice locations, from a rheumatologist’s/owner’s perspective? Please discuss.
Our size allows us to invest in our biggest asset, our employees. Managing the requirements of Meaningful Use, MIPS, MACRA, and value-based payments can be overwhelming to practice managers that have little to no help or resources. We have assembled an executive team with education and expertise in many areas of healthcare allowing local offices to concentrate on caring for patients while having resources available to solve operational, compliance, accounting, contracting and revenue cycle issues. With the ability to consolidate HR, payroll, health insurance, malpractice, retirement and other benefits allows us to reduce costs and provide better products for our employees.
Our physicians enjoy the ability to discuss cases, protocols, system, and procedures with practitioners in other locations to gain different perspectives. They, too, benefit from reduced administrative burden and close relationships with vendors who can provide improved and more personal service.
Another benefit of our size has been the opportunity to enhance and advance community-based rheumatology practices. Many of our locations offer lab, X-ray, and research services to provide more convenient access to patients, as well as new revenue streams for those locations. By aggregating our volume, we can additionally negotiate better contracts and reach volume incentives and pricing that other practices cannot achieve. We have also been able to develop and pilot a clinical pathway, now known as the ARN Pathway, for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with a major Payor to increase treatment quality while lowering costs. Soon, we hope to share the development of the first Alternative Payment Model in Rheumatology.
What staffing challenges have you had with overseeing multiple practices? Please provide some advice on dealing with these challenges.
I learned long ago that any business is only as good as its people. I’ve consulted hundreds of practices over the last 25 years, and the problems are all the same; only the names and faces are different.
We’ve established a proven culture and mindset within Articularis and believe in three core values: product, people, and processes. The model has significantly increased revenues at our locations and has allowed us to invest in our employees. The ability to offer employees a dynamic benefits package, retirement plan, Monday – Thursday work week and top compensation empowers our practices to hire sophisticated employees who can proactively solve problems while enjoying a team atmosphere and a great work environment.
Our high quality staff allow us to lower costs, improve efficiency, and increase revenue. We’ve also lowered employee turnover in those locations.
How do you maintain supervision of employees at multiple practices? Please provide advice for doing this, as well as dealing with any challenges regarding this.
Once our concepts are installed, the administrator or office manager is empowered to handle most daily operation issues as they are no longer burdened with many administrative issues. Our administrators hold an MHA or MBA degree and are highly qualified with many years of experience, allowing for most supervision to be handled on a local level.
Assuming you have an electronic health records system, has that helped with operating multiple practices? Please discuss. Have you had any challenges with the system by having multiple practices? How did you resolve them?
All of our locations have NextGen EMR. TSI Healthcare is our service provider and has excellent customer support, reducing issues that may arise otherwise.
Each location possesses a unique database that limits issues as we grow. Training is much easier as offices can speak with each other for help and protocols for increased efficiencies.
Have you had any successes or challenges with other logistics of running multiple practices? Please discuss resolutions.
The biggest challenge is most humans, in general, don’t like change. When we implement our protocols, some have been performing tasks the same way for so long, they become a little uncomfortable. Once they realize we are reducing their work load, they buy in. Many employees have commented on the change and how much better they like the process, benefits and the 4-day work week.
Once the processes are installed and the right people are in place, the logistics are pretty easy. I try to visit every office with our managing partner once a quarter. Most issues or questions that arise can be handled with a phone call.
We founded Articularis Healthcare to help preserve the private practice of rheumatology for physicians in Georgia and South Carolina and to lower cost and increase value. The success of our model has allowed us to grow into the largest practice in the country without marketing or advertising.
With many practices struggling with all the changes with Value Based Medicine on the horizon, we are being contacted by groups from all over the country and are now planning to move into other states and partner with like-minded practices.