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Financial smarts for independent groups

April 2014

Published in the April 2014 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

WHILE PLENTY OF HOSPITALIST GROUPS want to remain independent, physicians’ strong suit is usually their clinical acumen, not their ability to make the most of revenue cycles.

Hospitalist IQ believes it can help. The Phoenix-based company offers groups an array of financial services, from basic software packages and billing analysis to consulting and financial management. “We give control to clients to customize what they need,” explains Rajeev Singh, the company’s CEO.

Hospitalist IQ grew out of a collaboration between a hospitalist practice and Mr. Singh’s software development company. The company’s software and Web-based mobile platforms “sit along your hospital’s IT system,” he explains. Clients buy one of four service tiers. Tier 1 provides software that covers physicians’ daily work schedule, census and communication needs. Features include on-call and coverage schedule management, call routing, and primary care physician communication. Groups integrate the module with their existing billing applications.

Tier 2 includes everything in tier 1 but adds modules for billing, claims and management reports. Patient information automatically flows to charge capture and billing, while physicians with performance-based compensation can track their own financials.

Tier 3 includes the entire software platform, but brings in Hospitalist IQ consultants to supervise and improve billing. Company personnel work with your group’s billing staff to optimize billing, collections and physician productivity.

And under Tier 4, groups outsource their entire billing and financial operations to Hospitalist IQ. “We become the complete back office so you don’t have to have a single billing person on your payroll,” Mr. Singh notes.

As for pricing, groups in tiers 1 and 2 pay a monthly subscription and percent of revenue, while tiers 3 and 4 are performance-based. “For tier 1, there’s a software fee and 1% of the revenue we collect,” Mr. Singh explains. “For tier 4, that rises to 6% or 6.5% of revenue.”

The services allow physicians to optimize their revenue and put groups on solid financial footing. That’s important, says Mr. Singh, now that hospital medicine has attracted venture capital firms.

“Many new players don’t want to buy sick companies,” he explains. “We work with independent groups to create their exit strategy if they’re looking to be acquired or to merge, to make sure their financials look good and to remove their overhead.” More information is online at www.hospitalistiq.com.