At this time each year, people become zeroed in on their resolutions and goals for the new year ahead. This optimism for the new year is something medical practices and businesses can embrace too — a time to reflect on what can be improved, what was successful, and where future changes can be made to increase profits in the coming years.
Your practice should examine the following areas when focusing on the year ahead:
Be sure to analyze your company’s billing process at the end of year. Whether you are outsourcing or do it in-house, take a hard look at your billing system performance. The majority of billing departments spend most of their time on simple claims, leaving little time for the more challenging claims that ultimately never get reimbursed.
You should also consider the billing software your business utilizes. Check if you are consistently getting updates from your software vendor and make sure your software effectively allows you to get reimbursed in a timely manner. If not, update or change your billing vendor. Improved cash flow should always be the end goal.
Evaluate your inventory optimization processes. Determine which products were overstocked and understocked since both result in decreased profits. Although inventory analysis is time consuming, it can greatly have an effect on your bottom line. Also, make sure your inventory software is adequate or if additional information or features might be beneficial.
Although your taxes are not due until April, now is the time to brainstorm ways to streamline your tax return process. Review how much large purchases benefitted or jeopardized your business. Research your depreciations and write offs. Billing and inventory software should make determining your tax returns simple. If this is not the case, make updates and changes accordingly.
Examining your employees productivity and how they affect your business is difficult but well worth the attention. Review which departments are not producing and check for redundancies. In some cases, more training is required, so make certain that your employees are constantly updated on new procedures and technology — it can have a huge impact on future success.
After you analyze personnel and decide that your employees are still not improving or producing at the levels necessary for growth, it may be necessary to consider performance reviews.
One of the most important reasons medical practices exist is to help patients with their general health. The overall satisfaction of your patients plays a huge role in determining your practice’s success. However, any business owner should never be complacent when it comes to customers and should always be striving to improve the services they provide. So it is imperative that your patients feel satisfied, listened to and they can trust any concern of theirs will be dealt with appropriately. Making sure your patients are paying their bills on time is also important. They need to be held accountable when they miss payments and the systems you have in place for billing have to be effective. Sometimes creating a streamlined billing process is as simple as storing credit card information for co-pays, outstanding bills or late payments. This allows your business to save time and money while still improving upon the relationship you have with your patients.
Michelle Tohill is Director of Revenue Cycle Management of Bonafide Management Systems and oversees all billing programs and processes. Her specialty is conducting AR audits to expose inefficient billing practices that fail to fully reimburse physicians for their work. She conducts AR audits and provides Bonafide customers with training and consulting on how to improve every aspect of billing and practice management to maximize revenue.