36 Guidelines for evaluating a practice manager

October 19, 2016
George Conomikes

Richard G. Scoby

Knowing how to evaluate a practice manager is vital to your success. Here are 36 specific guidelines that can be used.

Last week, we share some reasons why you should evaluate a practice manager and first steps you could take in this process.  The following guidelines relate to performance goals for the practice manager that helps promote a well-run medical practice. One purpose of this review is to note areas where performance goals are being met. The second purpose is to address areas where performance goals are not being met. In this latter case, corrective actions should be sought and timetables established for meeting the stated goals.

The rating scale to be employed is: 1. Performance is better than goals; 2. Meeting goals; 3. Not meeting goals

Financial Management - Billing and Collections

1. Net collection percentage. Goal is 95+ percent. Based on quarterly or annualized data.

2. Accounts Receivable Aging Analysis. Accounts over 90 days should be no more than 25 percent of total A/R. Exclude anyone on payment plan, legal cases and OB care.

3. Accounts Receivable Ratio.
For primary-care practices - goal is 1.5 months. For specialty practices - goal is two month. Should be calculated minus credit balances

4. Denials and down-codes. Goal is to address within three business days. Are these being monitored to determine if staff is submitting "clean claims?"

5. Is the manger up-to-date on coding changes and also looking for atypical coding patterns among physicians?

Financial Management - General

6. Cost of Business analysis. Annual study of RVUs to determine practice break-even points

7. Accounts payable.
Checks written with controls. Pay only from invoices and restrict check-signing privileges. Ensures that credit balances are promptly paid to plans and/or patients

Personnel Management

8. Maintain an effective and productive staff.

9. Control overtime costs

10. Control personnel costs.

11. Recruit, select and train staff. Directs cross-training of staff to improve productivity.

12. Review and update job descriptions and job standards for each position.

13. Conduct productive staff meetings.

14. Conduct performance reviews and salary reviews, with physician input.

15. Keeps physicians updated on personnel problems and needs. Recommends solutions.

Marketing and Practice Promotion

16. Directs the development of practice marketing materials. Practice Information booklet.

17. Directs or conducts the promotion of practice with referring offices and local major employers.

18. Makes sure the practice facility is in top condition and a pleasant environment for both patients and staff.

Self Development

19. Enrolls in management training programs

20. Networks with other local practice managers

21. Subscribes to management and practice management publications.

Leadership Skills

22. Is seen as leader by all staff.

23. Takes initiative on new projects

24. Is a good communicator with staff

25. Is a good communicator with physicians

26. Maintains a professional appearance in manner and dress

27. Is punctual and viewed as hard working

28. Is a good listener

29. Is well organized and carries out work systematically

Add Guidelines for the Larger Practice Administrator.

The larger group practice administrator usually has a wider range of responsibilities. These would include the following skills that should be evaluated by the physician owners:

30. Budget-Annual projection for next 12 months. Helps in setting production and profit targets.

31. Profit planning-Annual exercise to help the physician(s) set profit goals (i.e. take-home income). This goal-setting allows you to set production or collections targets and keep track of them.

32. Negotiating with managed care plans

33. Investigate and make recommendations regarding new services, new equipment, new and expanded facilities and satellite offices.

34. Long-term planning.

35. Networking with practice administrators of same specialty.

36. Active involvement in specialty-society manager activities.