This article is a basic summary of information pertaining to MSO structures. Professional legal definitions can be found in the resources section of the Chapman Law Firm, Cope Health Solutions and the Cohen Healthcare Law Group. The author and ViOS, Inc. have no affiliation with any of the references mentioned.

What is a Telemedicine Management Services Organization?

A Telemedicine Management Services Organization (MSO) is a company that provides administrative and management services to physicians who provide care via telemedicine. MSOs typically contract with one or more payers, providing them with physician services remotely. 


Most MSOs are located in the United States, but there is a handful of MSOs that operate in other countries as well. One of the largest MSOs is American Well, which was founded in 2006. Other notable MSOs include MDLIVE, Teladoc, and Doctor on Demand. 


The vast majority of MSOs provide services to primary care physicians, but some MSOs also contract with specialists such as psychiatrists, cardiologists, and pulmonologists. MSOs typically offer a variety of services, including billing and coding, credentialing and privileging, marketing, and practice management. 


The growth of the telemedicine industry has been fueled by a number of factors, including the increasing use of mobile devices, the rising cost of healthcare, and the growing number of aging Baby Boomers. Telemedicine is expected to continue to grow in popularity in the coming years.


Telemedicine can be a great way to improve your clinical practice by allowing you to see more patients and providing them with quality care. However, in order to make the most of telemedicine, you need a management services organization that can help you scale your practice. 


MSOs can provide you with the necessary infrastructure and support to help you grow your telemedicine practice into a successful business. By working with an MSO, you can focus on what you do best – providing quality medical care – while leaving the business aspects of running a practice to someone else. This allows you to maximize the potential of telemedicine and improve patient care.

Key Takeaways:

•A Management Services Organization (MSO) is a company that provides administrative and management services to physicians who provide care via telemedicine.

• MSOs typically contract with one or more payers, providing them with physician services remotely.

• Most MSOs are located in the United States, but there is a handful of MSOs that operate in other countries as well.

• The vast majority of MSOs provide services to primary care physicians, but some also contract with specialists such as psychiatrists, cardiologists and other medical disciplines

Office worker using macbook air and magic mouse

Why do Physician Practices Need an MSO?

Healthcare management services organizations (MSOs) are a crucial component in providing support for licensed medical professionals. These companies help relieve them from mundane tasks so they can focus on delivering quality patient-centered care without distraction or neglecting other important aspects of their business like revenue generation strategies that could generate additional income if done correctly.


Health care providers often face challenges when it comes to the administrative and management functions of running their business. That’s where MSOs come in handy, these companies provide services like risk bearing, claim processing, or collections – things that help them focus on providing quality clinical care while we take care of everything else under one roof for you (and at an affordable price).


The introduction of MSOs into a physician practice can be an excellent way to bring economies of scale, operational efficiency and professional management experience while improving patient care.


The MSO is your one-stop shop for all of the services you need to run a successful and profitable medical office. Our comprehensive list includes everything from financial management, budgeting & accounting through human resources and vendor management.

What are the services of an MSO?

An MSO, or physician services organization, is a company that provides administrative and business support services to physicians. MSOs help physicians by taking on tasks such as billing and coding, human resources, marketing, and practice management. This allows physicians to focus on patient care. MSOs vary in size, but most have a team of full-time employees who work with the physicians they are contracted with. 


MSOs can be helpful for new practices just getting off the ground, as well as established practices looking for ways to improve efficiency and profitability. MSOs can also provide access to capital, allowing practices to make investments in new technology or expand their facilities. 

Office worker using macbook air and magic mouse

Services typically provided by an MSO can be grouped into three main categories with multiple sub-services within each group 


1) Strategic and Administrative Services

2) Clinical or Operational Program Design 

3) Clinical decision support and Technology Enablement Service.

MSO support services are often comprehensive, including areas such as:


  • Financial management, budgeting and accounting
  • Human resources and non-clinical personnel management
  • Revenue collection
  • Website design and management
  • Regulatory compliance oversight and management
  • Credentialing and contract management
  • Vendor management and group purchasing
  • Digital Marketing

What does an MSO not do?

MSOs are often confused with physician groups, which are organizations of physicians that contract with hospitals or other healthcare facilities to provide medical care. While MSOs may contract with physician groups, they are not the same thing. MSOs do not provide direct patient care; instead, they focus on supporting physicians so they can provide better patient care.


MSOs are a relatively new phenomenon in the healthcare industry, and their role is still evolving. As the healthcare landscape continues to change, MSOs will likely play an increasingly important role in helping physicians navigate the ever-changing landscape.


Basically, an MSO does not interfere with nor influence the clinical decision-making capacity of the physician practice by:

  • Determining which diagnostic tests are appropriate for a particular condition.
  • Determining the need for referrals to or consultation with another physician or specialist.
  • Determining how many patients a physician must see in a given time period or how many hours a physician must work.
  • Incentivizing and otherwise pressuring staff to increase services or sales.

Main benefit of partnering with an MSO

One of the most important factors in healthcare cost management is economies of scale. When centralized, administrative and management functions are spread across an enterprise this increases efficiency by standardizing services while creating a single market with shared prices for goods or membership fees based on per member/month (PMMPM) 


MSO structures encourage them towards partnerships that will help increase memberships without sacrificing quality but also ensuring greater profitability.


Partnering with a co-source partner can help a physician organization save time and money. This is because they will be able to handle all of the paperwork involved in attracting new members, while also providing them access at scale across different regions or countries – which means you won’t have any trouble reaching your patient goals, wherever they are.

Office worker using macbook air and magic mouse

Are MSO’s the Future of Telemedicine?

Physician practices have been moving towards MSOs in recent years in order to survive and thrive in the changing healthcare landscape. The Affordable Care Act has put pressure on practices to become more efficient and cost-effective, and MSOs offer many advantages in this regard.


Telemedicine is another area where MSOs have an advantage over traditional physician practices. Telemedicine allows physicians to provide care to patients remotely, using video conferencing and other technologies. This can save time and money for both the physician and the patient.


MSOs are well-positioned to take advantage of telemedicine. They often have the resources and infrastructure in place to support this type of care. In addition, MSOs are used to coordinate care among a variety of specialists, which can be helpful when providing care remotely.


The advantages of MSOs make them well-suited to the challenges of the healthcare landscape. It is likely that MSOs will continue to grow in popularity in the years to come.

How can I partner with an MSO?

MSOs offer many opportunities for partnership. MSOs typically have a network of providers that they work with to deliver care to their members, and partnering with an MSO can help you expand your reach and grow your business. MSOs can also provide access to data and resources that can help you improve the quality of care you deliver.


There are a few things to keep in mind when considering partnering with an MSO:

  • Make sure you understand the MSO’s business model and how they operate.
  • Be clear on what services you can provide and how those fit into the MSO’s network.
  • Consider the MSO’s geographic coverage and whether your services align with their members’ needs.
  • Make sure you have the capacity to meet the MSO’s demands.


If you are interested in partnering with an MSO, reach out and start a conversation. MSOs are always looking for quality providers to add to their network, so they will be happy to hear from you.


How can I apply as a Telemedicine Physician with The VIOS Clinic?

If you are interested in becoming a Telemedicine Physician with The VIOS Clinic, please submit an online application today. I look forward to reviewing your qualifications! 



Dr. Ismail Sayeed

Dr. Sayeed is the Medical Director of ViOS, Inc. He is a deeply committed physician entrepreneur & medical blog writer. While building the global infrastructure of the VIOS Clinic, he is dedicated to educate people on the potential of specialist telemedicine for managing chronic diseases.

Read more about him in his author bio

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