MSO – Frequently Asked Questions

The following document answers some of the questions that are frequently raised regarding MSOs.

  1. What is the overall goal of the MSO? To provide an array of services coordinated through a local and independent entity which will be monitored and augmented by the health system to assist targeted physicians or physician groups with the efficient operation of their practices. The overall goal is to help enhance and improve those practices which contribute to the strength of the institution and assist it in fulfilling its mission. The MSO can strengthen all the components of the health care community by allowing them to remain viable.
  2. What will this entity be? How will physicians have input?The actual entity will be a new corporation which will have the support of the health system but which will also maintain its independence and autonomy. Essentially, it will be a consulting and service group which will provide services under the guidance of a physician advisory council. The physicians on the advisory council will also be clients or customers of the MSO to assure the highest compliance with practice needs. The program will be developed by the health system, consultants and a physician advisory council.

  3. How can a physician become involved in this process?The MSO will be a service agency with a client base comprised of physician practices. Any physician on the medical staff who wishes to be a client can contact the physician support office or, after it has been established, the MSO office directly. A practice review will take place which will result in a report to the physician regarding the services most likely to complement the practice, their cost and the manner of implementation. The physician will then determine whether to proceed.

  4. What types of services will be available?The service listing will change with the needs of the practices and with the environment. Initially, the MSO will offer practice analysis and evaluation, accounting services, billing and collection, group purchasing, staff support and training, coordinated benefit programs, payroll services, coding analysis, market analysis, promotional assistance, recruiting support, physical plant maintenance, financial systems review, financial planning services, assistance with capital or equity reorganization, equipment leasing programs, etc.The services, their design and pricing, will be under the review and management of a physician advisory council composed of practice owners who are also clients of the MSO. Additional services will be designed, or the original list will be modified, according to the needs defined by the physicians who comprise this panel.
  5. Will the MSO manage physician practices?The MSO will have the capabilities to manage individual practices if that is a necessary and desired service. The goal, however, is to assist in the management of certain key functions related to the practice to allow the physician to maintain independence and to establish a support service which allows each practice to select only those services which assist it in operating most efficiently.

  6. What will be the cost of these services?The cost of the services will be determined by the market rates for similar services in the area. The goal in pricing these services, with the health system’s assistance, is to develop a pricing level which is advantageous to the practitioner without compromising the hospital’s status as a nonprofit institution. Coordination and collaboration will assure that the services will be accessible to the physicians and that the MSO will primarily focus on the unique needs of the health system and its medical staff.
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