4. Build rapport with your co-management partners
Strong co-management relationships are especially important in rural areas, where patients may need to travel long distances to see an ophthalmologist. When forging a bond in these wide-open spaces, however, Farhan A. Irshad, MD, with Wallace Eye Associates, Alexandria, LA, found that it helps to go the extra mile.
When he was new to the practice and the community, Dr. Irshad said it was most effective to visit practices to introduce himself.
“It meant a lot to them that I traveled the distance to their location and could see their office, meet their staff who I would also be working with, and see their equipment,” he said.
Communication has been key.
“With every first-time referral, I actually called the doctor after surgery in addition to sending a letter,” he said. During the conversation, he detailed his findings from the examination, the treatment plan, and why he chose that plan.
Practice services also support these relationships. For example, his practice sends billers and coders to assist the optometrists’ teams with co-managed cases.
“With the changes in rules and regulations, some of them are not familiar with the nuances of medical billing because it’s not something they do on a regular basis,” Dr. Irshad said. “Sending our team in to help has gone a long way to building a solid partnership.”