May 6, 2020

Why In-Office Infusion Centers are a Practice Administrator's Best Friend

Practice Administrators have better things to do than run the nuts and bolts of their office’s infusion center

Everybody knows it, even if nobody talks about it: the hardest working person in any doctor’s office is often the practice administrator. If there were a prize for putting in the most hours, overcoming the toughest problems and making everyone else on the team more effective, practice administrators would win first, second and third prize. But, alas — they don’t give medals to unsung heroes.

The hyper-competence that’s inseparable from the practice administrator’s identity is driven by an irrepressible can-do attitude. In a job that challenging, you learn to always say “yes, and…” instead of “no, but”. That’s almost always a great thing, except when it isn’t.

Hospital Outpatient Infusions: The Worser of Two Evils

The administrator’s responsibility for their practice’s patients does not end when the patient leaves the office. It doesn’t end when the doctor writes a prescription. In the absence of an in-office infusion center, practice administrators or their teams typically schedule patients into a hospital outpatient infusion center and manage the prior authorization process. It doesn’t end there either. If the patient needs to reschedule? They call the office. Any problems with their insurance? They call the office. Adverse drug reaction? They should (but often don’t) call the office.

Relying on Hospital outpatient infusion centers for patient care doesn’t just create more work for practice administrators. They’re not just expensive and inconvenient for patients. They deprive practices of the control and visibility required to ensure optimal patient care.

Did the patient miss an infusion? Are they actually adhering to the doctor's plan of care? With hospital outpatient infusions, this critical information is more often than not lost in translation. The paper shuffling doesn’t end when you send a patient to another outpatient facility for infusions — it’s only beginning.

Infusion Center Management: A Second Full-Time Job

In-office infusion treatment centers are on the cutting-edge of superlative patient care. They’re comfortable, clean, convenient and cost-effective — and because of that they drive excellent patient outcomes. They can make a lot of money for the office, too. It’s the rare win-win-win.

They’re also an enormous pain to manage. Bringing infusion treatments in-practice with an In-office infusion center reduces some of the burdens of managing outsourced treatments. But it creates others.

In-office infusion centers require the hiring and management of nurses trained to administer medications, not to mention the staff needed to manage inventory, patients' prior-authorizations, and financial benefits and assistance.

And that’s all before the patient even comes in for an appointment. After they’re done there’s the additional hassle of dealing with the ridiculously complicated infusion billing process, haggling with insurance companies and trying to collect from patients.

Infusion centers just run on a different metronome from the rest of the office. To force a practice manager to manage the infusion center as well, is to ask them to do a second job. The practice administrator no doubt could do it, but at some point enough is enough.

In-Office Infusion Center Management: A PA’s Best Friend

Instead, the stronger play is to bring in a dedicated infusion center management company to open and/or run your in-office infusion center. An infusion center management partner like OI Infusion will manage the entire turnkey operation: Setting up the equipment, hiring the staff, dealing with the administrative headaches. They get down in the weeds so that the practice administrator doesn’t have to. OI can come into any doctor’s office, primary care, or urgent care center and hit the ground running, ensuring that the infusion center fits seamlessly into the rest of the practice — not the other way around.  

Everybody is better off. The patients still get a great experience that improves their medical outcomes, doctors get to expand their book of business and practice administrators get to keep their considerable talents focused where they should be: on allowing the entire practice to run like clockwork.

The job of a practice administrator is already challenging enough; it’s like walking a tightrope while juggling a set of knives. There’s no sense in making it even more difficult. At the same time, patients and the practice can absolutely benefit from an in-office infusion center. OI Infusion solves both these problems with minimal hassle and maximum efficiency. Contact OI Infusion to start building your own in-office infusion center today. Before you know it, OI will be the second-hardest worker in the office.

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