Medical scribe programs help physicians and nurses meet their obligations, but are they profitable? This article shows the possible ROI.
Scrivas medical scribes have been proven to be able to free up to 2 hours* of a physician’s clinical day after 90 days from implementation. This new found “free time” is one of the main reasons why scribes can be profitable.
How Profitable Are Medical Scribe Programs?
To give a base line for a more generalized view though, let’s say that Dr. ABC, a primary care physician, has 2 hours now of “free time” after our scribe program has been implemented. Before scribes, Dr. ABC was seeing 20 patients in a day, the average for most physicians, which broken down means 2.5 patients per hour. Now, Dr. ABC can see 5 additional patients because of the additional 2 hours but to give him/herself more time with the patients, they have decided on only seeing 4 additional established patients.
Dr. ABC’s has outsourced a medical scribe program for his/her 40-hour work week and the rate is about $23.50 (an all in-inclusive rate) and the scribes work 8 hours which totals $188 per day.
Dr. ABC has now begun to see the 4 extra patients a day now with the medical scribe. To understand the ROI (return on investment), the practice manager will calculate this by multiplying that number by the average reimbursement per established patient (not charges) for a typical office visit. If the physician typically bills as a 99213, then the physician would receive an average of $85 dollars x 4 (more patients), totaling $340 a day.
The practice manager would then subtract the total new reimbursements from the medical scribe cost to find the total ROI: $340-$188= $152 Positive ROI per day
If Dr. ABC works the standard 261 work days in 2021, the annual positive ROI would total $39,672. This calculation does not take into account a number of factors such as new patient reimbursement, improved clarity and accuracy in patient charts, the increase in number of work relative value units (RVUs), reduced or eliminated after-hours charting, improved work life balance and increased patient care.
All these other benefits can only increase the positive ROI bottom line. Medical scribes are truly a necessity, not a luxury as once thought. Scrivas has quickly become the preferred scribe vendors for large hospital systems due to our un-matched physician-led training, quality assurance and responsiveness to our clients.
Written by: Nicole Bramblett, MHA
* Based on the experience of Dr. Saldana, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, who was able to see seven extra patients in one day.