For Dr. Eileen Conti, co-owner and founder of Conti Eye Care in Bedminster, New Jersey, what matters most is ensuring a comprehensive, patient-centered care experience. But periodic dips in the practice’s operating cash flow have hindered Dr. Conti and her team from delivering on that promise.
Reimbursement is a longstanding challenge for independent medical practices. And it’s a challenge that is mushrooming as the proportion of patient financial responsibility grows with the rise in high-deductible health plans. In short, patients are facing bigger medical bills—ones they aren’t always prepared to pay.
As a result, private practices like Conti Eye Care are incurring higher collection costs and are experiencing longer collection cycles, putting a squeeze on cash flow.
Faced with mounting operating expenses and no guarantee of immediate reimbursement, Dr. Conti had two options: Find capital to sustain operations or reduce practice hours to cut back on costs.
“There are months when patients haven’t met their deductibles,” explains Dr. Conti. “You’re not getting paid, but you still want to provide a high standard of care. It’s a challenge to do that if you’re forced to cut back on hours because you’re not being reimbursed.”