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Understanding Management Services Organizations (MSOs)

Understanding Management Services Organizations (MSOs)

We all know that there is a lot to manage in any medical practice. Human resource issues, payroll, and benefits alone take significant time and effort to manage properly, coding compliance and revenue cycle management consumes much of a manager's time and effort, and making sure that you are receiving best pricing for supplies and services on top of all the usual day-to-day activities can simply be too much.

That's where MSOs come in. These are entities designed to help you with the administrative, or non-medical, work involved in running a practice. These organizations may be owned by non-healthcare provider investors, by hospitals, by groups of physicians, be a joint venture between a hospital and physicians, or even owned by health plans.

1. What they do

Here's a list of some of the areas in which an MSO can assist practices:

• Operational issues

• Financial management

• Human resources and personnel management

• Staff education and training

• Coding, billing and collection services

• Providing and managing office space

• Discounts and provision of EHRs and medical equipment

• Regulatory compliance oversight and management

• Credentialing and contract management

• Savings with group purchasing

• Risk management

2. The benefits to practices

The primary advantage to joining an MSO is to have access to management services and to ensure best (lowest) pricing on supplies and services. MSOs aggregate volume and as such, obtain economies of scale that allows them to obtain preferred pricing on everything from medical supplies to healthcare insurance. Many provide billing services allowing practices to outsource that altogether, and some offer significantly discounted EHRs where all members utilize the same vendor or platform.

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