Helping Your Practice Live Up to Its Potential
Provided by Eide Bailly
While the focus of your practice will always be providing exceptional care for your patients, there is no way to get around the demands of running the business of the practice. In fact, it may often feel like a push-pull scenario between the day-to-day care of patients and the day-to-day reality of record keeping and business duties.
How do you get stay on track and help your practice live up to its potential? Here are some of the critical business areas you can focus on to help you reach your goals.
Income keeps your practice going, so making sure you collect, and on time at that, is very important. To keep up on AR, establish compliant collection policies in writing, and make sure to follow through on implementing these policies. Here are some ideas:
Establish a solid system for billing, such as numerical or batch processing.
Have a timely review process for delinquent accounts, denied claims, and pending cases awaiting coding and billing.
Keep your accounts receivable separate from cash.Review the account receivable aging reports and make sure they appropriately reflect cash postings on a timely basis.
Have security measures in place for communicating with patients and maintaining HIPAA compliance.
Just like it’s good when your practice receives income, other businesses need to be paid as well. Keeping up on payments can help your practice establish a trustworthy reputation that can ultimately lead to more success and growth. Unfortunately, AP is an area that many businesses struggle with. To stay out of hot water in this area, consider setting up procedures for cross checking payments, always check pricing options from competitors and vendors and be sure that billing amounts are being entered correctly.
Businesses that accept cash (especially a lot of cash) are at a high risk of loss due to theft or other discrepancies and errors. Keep your cash in control by having employees balance cash at the end of their shifts, have controls in place to ensure employees can’t pocket the cash without entering the transaction, check and reconcile bank balances regularly, keep all cash payment methods secure and pay attention to your practice’s cash flows.
Human Resources and Payroll
Technology has made it easier for hackers, scammers and even bad-egg employees to commit fraud or other harm to your practice. To keep your people (and your practice) safe, consider the following:
Require password updates regularly for you and your employees, and make sure to keep all passwords safe and not written down.
When it comes to payroll, review the details and checks/direct deposits to make sure pay is being disbursed properly.
Pay attention to any differences between payroll expenses and monthly budgets – this could be a red flag that someone or something has gotten access to your books.
The physical assets your practice owns, such as machinery or laptops, are of great value—you don’t want anything happening to them. When it comes to laptops and other electronics, make sure they are safeguarded or locked up. This makes it difficult for someone to steal the physical piece itself, along with the information stored on it. Cybersecurity problems are on the rise, so keeping these assets on lockdown can help prevent data breaches and other cybercrimes. Record asset purchases and monitor use and depreciation on them to stay up to date on their value. Also consider setting a usage policy so assets aren’t falling into the wrong hands or being mishandled.
Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of your practice. They help you measure success and hold people accountable. Once you’ve defined your overall business goals, the next step is to identify KPIs to make sure those goals are met. KPIs are measurable so you can track how you’re currently doing and what action you need to take (or not take).
What do we mean by measurable? Well, you can’t just say you’re going to be the best at patient service. How do you measure what “the best” means? But you could say you’ll have a 95 percent retention rate for patients. This is something that can be measured and can determine key action steps to make sure you’re on track for success.
One of the reasons why KPIs are agreed upon beforehand is so everyone has a clear definition of where the company is going. This only happens if you’re communicating your KPIs to your team and helping them understand how they are helping to drive the success (or failure) of the company. Define your KPIs for your team and provide them with a clear vision of what is important.
Make sure your team not only understands what your KPIs are, but also how their daily activities and work affect them. Tie your KPIs back to performance. Make sure your employees know which KPIs fall within their scope and use them to measure performance and provide direction. In this way, your team can clearly know what success looks like, both individually, and for the practice. Make sure someone is directly responsible for the success of each KPI.
KPIs reflect the factors critical to your company’s success. But they can’t be accomplished in a day. Ask yourself what daily activities you need to do to contribute to the success of your practice. If you have defined KPIs, this success should be easy to define and track. It can also show you areas where adjustment is necessary. Make sure the KPIs can be reported on a timely basis to allow practice adjustment and action if you’re not reaching your goals.
KPIs are not set in stone. If you need to change them up, you certainly can. This is another reason why tying KPIs back to daily activities is so critical. When you’re looking at them daily, you can see where strategy changes are necessary and where measurements need to be adjusted.