Name: Jerry Driscoll, NP
Name of Practice: Primary Homecare
Patient Population: homebound adults age 55 and older
Practice Niche: Primary Homecare provides NP house calls to elderly patients who are homebound and unable to travel to a health care provider's office. We make approximately 500 house calls a month to urban, suburban and rural patients in southeastern Pennsylvania. Additionally, we have expanded our services to include wound management and skilled sharp debridement for homebound and nursing home residents and recently began including diabetes self-management education.
Startup Costs: $15,000
Year of Launch: 2000
Financing Sources: personal savings
Marketing Activities: We use direct marketing to referral agencies, including area agencies on aging, hospital-based discharge planners and case managers, social service organizations, home health agencies, and insurance companies and HMOs; placed marketing emphasis on reduction of emergency department visits and hospitalization through illness prevention and health maintenance.
Current Staff: three full-time NPs, one part-time NP, one full-time collaborating MD, one part-time collaborating DO, two full-time office staff
Average Number of Patients a Week: 150 homebound, 50 nursing home
Billing: We accept Medicare, Medicaid, HMO, PPO, private and third-party insurance. We outsource our billing and collections.
Software and Other Office Tools: We use an Access database program we designed ourselves to track patients by last visit date and geographic location. This helps us in scheduling our house calls appropriately to decrease drive time and increase the number of daily visits.
Current Financial Health of Practice: Excellent. We enjoy a 40% pre-tax net profit.
Future Plans: Plans include expanding into southern New Jersey and franchising our program to other NPs.
What I Wish I Had Known Before Starting Out: I would have liked more education about ICD-9 and CPT coding for billing. Few NP programs actually prepare students to meet the requirements for billing profitably as well as all the intricacies of practice management. Fortunately, our practice is so unique that we were able to design our own forms in cooperation with Medicare. We now meet the appropriate standards for home visits as well as skilled wound management.
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