By: First Union
Physician Practice Management: Should You Use MSO?
You became a primary care doctor to help patients, not run a business. If you're struggling with the non-medical aspects of running your practice, a management service organization may be able to help.
What is a management service organization, and how can they help your primary care practice? Let's talk about it.
What Is a Management Service Organization?
A management service organization (MSO/) is a company that handles the non-medical aspects of a healthcare business. They can help with just one or two things, like billing and payroll. Or, they can manage every non-medical aspect of your practice.
An MSO allows you to focus your time and energy on your patients. You no longer have to worry about the day-to-day operations of running your practice like a business.
Not only can an MSO help you save time, but they can help you save money, too. Since they work with multiple health practices, they can get lower rates on things like supplies by bulk ordering.
You may find that one MSO can handle all your needs. Or, you may decide to contract with different MSOs to manage different needs.
What Are the Benefits of a Management Service Organization?
Management service organizations have a wide variety of potential benefits and offer many services, including:
- Best pricing on supplies and services
- Financial management
- Operational issues
- Managing or providing office space
- Managing the front desk
- Quicker updates to technology and infrastructure
- Contract management and credentialing
- Staff training and education
- Improved efficiency
- Personnel and human resources management
- Billing, coding, and collections
- Manage IT services
- Build long-term financial assets
- Regulatory compliance oversight and management
- Better supply chain
- Improved patient registration
The Two Different Types of MSO Structures
MSOs are available as two different types. One type of MSO provides business services while letting you retain control of your company. The other type of MSO buys the medical practice's assets (like office space, equipment, and supplies/) and leases them back.
There are benefits and downsides to each. If the MSO buys your assets, you lose a lot of control over your practice. However, you don't need to deal with any administrative tasks.
An MSO that lets you keep control of your company is less restrictive. However, you may still need to be involved in some administrative tasks.
Before You Sign a Contract with a Management Service Organization…
If you think a management service organization can help you, make sure you know exactly what details the contract includes. Know what the MSO will and won't take care of. Most importantly, know if, how, and when you can terminate the contract.
There might be times when you may want to hire a management service organization on a short-term basis. For example, if you want to expand your practice or acquire another, you may need help with that. A partnership with an MSO doesn't need to be permanent, so you need to know how to terminate the contract.
You must know the fair market value of your assets if you go with an MSO that will buy them. Have a healthcare consultant or accountant give you an estimate on the value of your assets. That will help you prevent problems with Stark, Anti-Kickback, or Corporate Practice of Medicine statutes.
It's also important to note that not all management service organizations are reputable. Do your research to find a good MSO and avoid being the victim of a scam.
Building Your Own MSO
While it's easiest to work with an existing MSO, you can collaborate with other private practices to create your own. Pooling the resources of even a few private practices can result in cost and time savings. If you have friendly relationships with other primary care practices, consider creating your own MSO.
Should You Use a Management Service Organization?
A management service organization may be right for you if you want help managing your primary care practice. MSOs are experts at handling administrative tasks and can save you time and money.
The downside to an MSO is that you must give up control of some aspects of your business. This can be a scary thought. If you like to know everything going on behind the scenes, an MSO may not be right for you.
Another Way to Finance Your Needs
If a management service organization isn't the right choice for your practice, you might benefit from a loan. There are many different loan types out there to help you grow your primary care practice.
First Union Lending has 9 different loan options to choose from. Their financial experts can help you find the right loan to meet your needs. You may be interested in buying new equipment or acquiring another practice, First Union can help with it all.