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    ASPS offers management services

    It's hard enough for plastic surgeons to simply provide excellent care to their patients. Throw in billing, payroll and human resources, and the workload can become overwhelming.

    That's why the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has created PS2 Practice Management to handle back-office administration for individual practices and consolidated groups of practices.

    "All those administrative parts of a practice can be very time-consuming, and they take away from a plastic surgeon’s ability to do their main job, which is improving a patient’s quality of life," says Jennifer Cross, director of operations for the ASPS. "Now, they can outsource administrative work to us."

    And there's a bonus: A unique dedication to plastic surgeons. "We're a subsidiary of ASPS," Cross says. "We are the society, so we have our members' best interests at heart."

    While PS2 Practice Management is only working with plastic surgeons for now, its potential client base is much larger. "Down the road, we're open to other specialties like dermatologists and ENTs," Cross says.

    PS2 Practice Management provides services such as payroll processing, billing, preauthorizations and denials management, Cross says. "We do human resources, things like recruiting a new team member. And we work with practices on vendor negotiations, credentialing and contract management. We focus on all those administrative parts of a practice that can be very time-consuming and take away from patient care."

    Services like billing and payroll processing are handled remotely, but training and other services can be available in person.

    "We have a practice manager who works in the practices with our physicians," Cross says. "She serves as manager for the practices and travels to meet with the physicians and the staff in person. She also has weekly one-on-ones with them via phone or Skype."

    In addition, Cross says, "We also provide customer service training for the front desk, things like scripting when you answer the phone and making sure you answer the phone with a smile."

    Solo practices are welcome to become clients, and PS2 Practice Management is eager to help multiple practices consolidate and use its services.

    "If there are three or four or even 10 practices in a given area that are considering forming a consolidated group or virtual group, we'll help them with that," Cross says. "Our goals are to improve efficiencies and reduce overhead by doing things like transitioning them to a group rate with a certain credit-card processor."

    She acknowledges that consolidating is a difficult topic for plastic surgeons. But she says it's a necessary one to think about. "Plastic surgeons do need to come together to have more bargaining power, negotiating power and market presence when non-board-certified plastic surgeons are performing procedures that board-certified plastic surgeons are doing like liposuction."

    The ASPS began offering the outsourcing services through PS2 Practice Management in December 2015 and signed its first clients in April 2016. It now has 7 clients.

    There are plenty of potential clients. ASPS alone has more than 10,000 members worldwide and represents 94% of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S.

    PS2 Practice Management is a for-profit operation, and its clients — who pay a fee based on net revenue —  are given the option of buying shares.

    "It's owned by ASPS and its members, and there's a big investment," Cross says. "Everyone's invested in the success of the company."

    Randy Dotinga
    Randy Dotinga is a medical writer based in San Diego, Calif.

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