While so many physicians are closing their doors, selling their practice, or retiring early, there are many more out there trying to still make it all work. With a few tips and options, your medical practice can not only survive, but thrive!
You and your medical staff see patients, submit claims, and get paid. But what if I told you that spending five hours per week managing your business could increase your inflow? It's all about working smarter and not harder. With the full effects of the Affordable Care Act coming down the pipeline, the uncertainly of how, when, and what physicians will be paid by insurance companies is on everyone's mind. Here are some options for you to consider over the next few weeks:
By blocking five hours per week in your schedule:
• You can start to examine and review your yearly business plan. Does it still apply? Do we need to make some adjustments with goals and standards within the company?
• Have you performed staff reviews? Are staff currently the best fit for their position? Sometimes moving people around to better match their skill set can re-motivate and energize an office.
• Are you doing any marketing? Do you have anything (good or bad) written by patients from online reviews regarding your business? Knowing is the first step to fixing and then preventing. It doesn't take too many negative reviews for it to have a great impact on your business.
• Are all of your systems up and running? Is your hardware and software up to date? You don't have to be an IT guru to know if your staff is running behind due to faulty resources. Call in a professional to clean up, update, or replace any computers that need it.
• Is your place of service clean? This really just takes a daily walk through. Look at the bathroom — if it looks unkempt, your patients will question your dedication to a safe and sanitary practice.
• Do you review your A/R on a weekly or monthly basis? This is a really great opportunity to start looking at your adjustments, and where those are coming from. Contractual adjustments aside, are there consistent errors being made which prevent you from being paid? Identify these as soon as possible and make the small changes necessary to prevent this from happening in the future.
All of these areas are critical when managing a medical practice. If you do not feel you have the time or the skill set to perform these tasks, hire someone who can.
Perhaps you have an outstanding staff member that is always looking for a challenge, promote them to your general manager or office manager. Provide a job description that outlines their new duties and have them report to you weekly with their questions, road blocks, achievements, and updates within the industry. Empower them to make decisions and they will repay you with performance.