Advanced Pain Management CEO Vishal Lal: 5 Key Concepts for Building Successful Pain Management Practices
Since its inception, Advanced Pain Management has been able to partner with several other pain management physicians to create additional facilities across Wisconsin. Some of the practices are joint ventures with hospitals for 50 percent ownership of the practice, but AMP continues to manage the center. Here, Mr. Lal discusses the process for building a new practice and the keys to their success.
1. Select the right physician leader. It’s important to select the right physician leaders to bring into the practice since they will be business partners in the group. “We interview the physician at our main site, but one of our senior physicians also goes out to their location and makes sure they have the appropriate skill,” he said. “They are board certified and have a background in pain management or anesthesiology. Their practice should have a multidisciplinary approach. Our job as the administration is to make the physician as efficient as possible.”
2. Build a good corporate and clinical infrastructure around the physician. Once the physician has been brought in, APM builds the corporate and clinical infrastructure around them. APM coordinates billing, scheduling, authorization, nursing and customer service staff for the new practices. “All our physicians follow the same policies of the company and every physician is expected to follow those,” said Mr. Lal.
3. Locate the opportunities in the market. Gather data from the practice to understand where services are needed, outcomes and costs to optimize reimbursement from payors. “We show insurance companies we are a cheaper strategy for them,” said Mr. Lal. “We also build a referral network and look at where we see ourselves in five years in that market.”
Understanding the other players, payors and patients is important for finding the opportunities in the market. “Make sure patients know what their bills are and what they are changing for,” said Mr. Lal. “Know what the insurance companies and hospitals are looking for.”
4. Work with referring physicians. APM physicians examine the services they provide and make sure they have the ability to provide referring physicians. “Our physicians will see the referring physicians’ patients and make sure they receive care,” said Mr. Lal. “We follow up with the referring physicians on outcomes and medication management. That shows we are taking the liability from referring physicians.”
The practices also partner with local hospital and physician practices in the market to work together.
5. Brand the practice. Mr. Lal believes that branding is important to a successful practice. “We want our brand to be recognized for the positive core values: quality care, expertise and creativity,” said Mr. Lal. “Once you have a logo and decide how you want to brand yourself, make sure you get the most out of it. Sometimes you get two minutes to tell someone about yourself and business managers should all be trained to say the same thing.”
When entering a new market, define your goals and measure them. “Do public education seminars, CME events and face-to-face marketing with referring physicians,” said Mr. Lal. “Our physicians must do two dinner each month with referring physicians. We have also seen a lot of online presence through social media, interactive websites where we focus on education and direct to consumer marketing.”
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