IPAs, today, are focusing on cementing their rapport with patients directly as a preparatory step towards building a stronger physician-patient connection. Read on to get an idea of what goes into establishing a service-oriented IPA and how it benefits both patients and their physicians.
An IPA, or an Independent Physician Association, is a collective established by independent practices in an attempt to cut costs as well as implement utilization management strategies, payor contracts, disease management programs, population health initiatives, and other similar enterprises. While in the past IPAs rarely communicated directly with patients, of late it has become vital for them to do so to improve patient-retention rates. A higher emphasis on Star Ratings is one of the many reasons for this change. Besides, growing competition in the area of managed care has given birth to a need for aggressive marketing through enhanced customer service and improved communication. Well-managed IPAs are also better at serving an escalating demand for disease management programs. Such entities are also able to understand and achieve essential goals like prevention of medical resource wastage and seamless execution of care management processes.
One way of building customer loyalty is by setting up dedicated care coordination centers that are managed by the IPAs. These units comprise of –
Care coordination centers act as a hub that connects all the other spokes of the healthcare wheel. Coordination between patients, medical personnel, providers, case managers, and administrative staff is their key priority. They can also be used for triaging patients, scheduling appointments as per urgency, and monitoring statistics like disenrollment, transfers, and membership figures. An IPA that has been successful in implementing a smoothly operating care coordination center can help in saving the time, effort, and resources of physicians who are associated with it. It can also consistently improve its value and productivity by eliminating overheads. Such IPAs are bound to play a crucial role in the future of medicine.
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