As Reimbursements Decline, Providers Find it Easier to Go Green

Philip Betbeze, October 22, 2010

In case you hadn't noticed, many physician specialties are in store for reduced reimbursements in the years ahead, as we transition to a payment system that is less and less reliant on fee-for-service and more focused on patient outcomes.

That leaves independent physician practices in a bit of a predicament. Sure, if you lead a practice, and if you're a smart planner, you're spending all the time you can to get your electronic medical record implemented in a "meaningful" way, if you know what I mean.

You're also reordering your staff's work priorities so that your high-dollar clinical employees spend time with patients, not with paperwork or scheduling. But you should also spend some time looking over your real estate, building, and operations costs as well.

That might mean scouting new locations if your practice is expanding, as has been the case for the (Portland) Oregon Clinic over the past two decades., Administrator Philip W. Armstrong sought savings wherever he could find them, and in building a new location for the expanding practice, he looked into green building techniques not only as public responsibility, but also as a way to save serious cash.  

If you're looking for the epicenter of the green building movement, you could do worse than pinpointing your map to Portland, where the Oregon Clinic is among a swath of businesses that are using green techniques in construction and saving money now. The multispecialty group practice has grown from 40 physicians at its birth in 1993 to 125 now, and by 2006, the location where its specialists are housed was outgrown.

Philip Betbeze

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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