We all hear adages such as “work smarter, not harder” when it comes to the topic of work efficiency. However, below is a list of five specific ways you can actually improve the efficiency of your medical practice.
1. Get Paid for What You Do
Obviously, you should make sure you get paid for the services you perform and for whatever chargeable items you dispense. This applies to everything — from co-pays to various third-party payers, whether insurers or Medicare/Medicaid. Verify all payers are remitting the full amounts they’re supposed to be paying. Of course, you need to ensure you’re billing appropriately, too.
2. Staff Appropriately
The rule of thumb for staffing is to have three to four staff members for each physician, combined in the front and back offices. Some variation to this rule based on specialty areas may exist, but the advice remains: Make sure you have enough staff to maintain efficient, effective care; patient flow; and cycle time. Don’t simply hire the right number of people — define their roles, train them properly and clarify your expectations.
3. Cut Costs
Physicians are often encouraged to see an increasing number of patients, jamming in as many as possible in a day to improve revenue. But many find it’s easier to cut costs instead. How? Evaluate your overhead. Is your practice site bigger or more expensive than you need? Do you have too many staff? Are you spending money on services or equipment you don’t need or that’s underused?
4. Monitor Key Performance Indicators
Key performance indicators are analytical ways of evaluating how your medical practice is doing. Most of them (though not all) deal with revenue collection. They include:
- Monthly charges,
- Monthly collections,
- New patients,
- Total patient visits,
- Accounts receivable,
- Per-visit value,
- Net collection ratio and
- First-pass denial rate.
While there are other metrics that can be monitored, these are the most important ones.
5. Practice Your Best Medicine
In the current health care environment, it’s easy to get sucked into a vortex where practicing medicine seems secondary to running the business. But practicing medicine at the highest level possible will not only allow you to stay operational, but also increase the likelihood that you’ll turn a profit. So, be sure providing high-quality healthcare to your patients is always your No. 1 priority. A strong reputation and solid patient base should then afford you the time to look for sensible, practical ways to improve efficiency.
Please contact a member of your service team, or contact Kathy Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussion.
Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.