Many Nurse Practitioners are frustrated in their day to day work. They feel rushed to see lots of patients. Of course, that goes against our nature – we want to take the time to really hear our patients, to communicate with them and to really address issues that are affecting their health. Sometimes there is no way around those longer visits.
And this is where the frustration comes in. It’s hard to see patients in 10 or even 15 minutes. I understand this. Our patients are often complicated and it’s nearly impossible to do an excellent job in just a few minutes.
However, there is a disconnect and we need to address it. I’ve heard too many times that physician practice owners “only care about money and generating revenue”. “They don’t care about the patient”. Gee…I’ve heard that same thing said about NP owned businesses and practices from my colleagues – we only care about the money.
Let’s set this record straight. What all of us need to understand is that healthcare is a business. You cannot maintain an office, hire staff and provide services without thinking about the money you are generating and spending. Health care is not free. The owner of the practice has overhead that has to be paid. Landlords don’t care if Medicare cuts reimbursements or if they decide to delay payment. For that matter, most employees don’t care either – they want their employer to pay fairly (with benefits) and on time.
The practice/business owner (NP, PA or MD/DO) is not the enemy here. If we must have someone to blame, then we only need to look to our current health care system that is full of regulations that are inefficient and make little sense, and third party payers who decide if and when they will pay, the amount they will pay, and if they will let us keep the money.
Nurse Practitioners, indeed all health care providers, need to understand, as a revenue generating practitioner…we too are a “business”! It doesn’t matter if you work for your own business or someone else. The more we understand how this works, the better for all involved.
So the next time you or one of your colleagues says the NP or the MD/DO only cares about money the business can make, think again. Think about how you can support and contribute to the health of that practice, so it becomes a win-win-win situation. The patient gets services, the practice continues to provide services and the staff gets to keep their jobs. Oh, and a bonus win…the practice continues to contribute (physically and fiscally) to the local community. That makes it WIN x 4.
Stay tuned as this is a business topic that needs a lot more conversation.