If you’re working with physicians in hopes of continuing to build good relationships with them, you are well aware of the intricacies that come with managing their administrative agreements…after all getting your docs paid on time will certainly help alleviate any relationship woes. Even though you may already be housing these agreements in a digital solution and capturing time logs whether on paper or via excel files, there probable is more you can be doing to help yourself and your relationships with your physicians.
Turning to an automated physician time logging system for this process can be helpful, but how do you know which part of the process to automate?
There are a few critical pieces when talking about better management of your administrative agreements. Here are a few:
- Contract management systems are a helpful way to house your administrative contracts, especially since these are living over a long period of time and can have many amendments and renewals. Without this piece, you might end up in a place where it’s hard to figure out how a particular agreement came to be. Housing these agreements in one ‘safe place’ is an important part of this process and one many hospitals already do. Of course, housing the agreements is critical, but treating them as long-living documents is even more important.
- Tracking time is obviously a bit part of the process, but a clean time logging system is even more important. Paper and excel files can often stray from the duties that are actually payable within the agreements, and always having to log into a contract management system to verify that the time logging system is accurate may not be the best use of your peoples’ time. Finding a better way to receive your physicians’ time logs in a very specific format that doesn’t allow for duties that cannot be compensated is a foolproof way to manage this component of agreements.
- Calculating spend is usually done in spreadsheets based on the agreements found the contract management system as well as the time logs submitted by docs. Think, though, about the complexities of managing this when there are no strict rules for when time logs should be submitted or for how approvers should review the time logs and compare them to the agreements...there is sure to be a discrepancy between what is actually included in your calculations and what is accurate.
Use software that locates and measures spending throughout your organization -
- Understanding your agreements and where you might be able to cut costs based on the amount of hours physicians have on their agreements versus the amount of hours they are actually working. Or looking at your specialties and determining which ones have stacked agreements or duplicate spend that is unnecessary. It’s virtually impossible to view all these details when you’re working from a contract management system, because all you really have access to are copies of the contract files, not data points that help you think through your strategy for working with physicians or growing your specialties.
- Having an audit trail hopefully never comes ‘in handy’, but it’s still reassuring to know that all the process you put in place with automation can give you an audit trail should the need present itself. Having to go through your contract management system, your folders of paper times logs, accounts payable documentation, etc. isn’t foolproof and certainly will yield a number of human errors that automation can solve for.
Perhaps unbeknownst to you, there is a solution that can work in tandem with a contract management system and do all these other things. Time tracking, although important, isn’t the only critical piece of managing your physician agreements over time. Compliance, strategy and building stronger relationships with your physicians are invaluable.