Monitoring Monthly Metrics Leads to Success

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to review the annual goals you made last year at this time.

There are several categories that I monitor at the end of each month. Knowing each month has a different number of working days based upon Holidays, I never make haste decisions based on one months' worth if information. Monitoring monthly, and reviewing quarterly, and annually will yield your best results. Here are the areas my practice looks at:

•Visits - the total patient visits for the month.

•New patients - total new patients for the month.

•Percent A/R (Accounts Receivable) broken down by aging days

•0-30 days old

•30-60 days old

•60-90 days old

•90-120 days old

•120+ days old

•DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) average of three months total –the number of days it takes for a payment to be posted to the patients account after they were seen in the office.

•Number of statements sent – this is very important to insure you have a clean A/R and you are not unnecessarily billing your patients creating a poor customer service experience

•>60 days dollars in A/R outstanding – helps you know how far out your claims are aging

•> 90 days dollars in A/R outstanding – helps you know how far out your claims are aging

•> 120+ days dollars in A/R outstanding – helps you know how far out your claims are aging

•Patient balance in the A/R and the percent of the total A/R that category represents – this is very important to keep your eye on.  If this number is high, your front office staff may not be collecting what’s due from the patient up front.

•Charges – This will help you assess if your staff is coding properly and appropriately.  Due to changes in the Medicare fee schedule, most all physicians and groups will be faced with lower reimbursement for some codes, and higher reimbursement for others.  Educate yourself on these before January 1st.

•Inflow – You need to know how much this is, and you can even do some predictions to make sure you are profitable in your practice.

•Percent Collections – not as important unless you remove your contractual obligations.  But this will help you see what you are collecting and if that is in line with your expenses.

•Charge Per Visit – Also an indicator of coding and healthcare staff.

•Pay-Per-Visit – Do you know what your cost of doing business is?  You can calculate that out and make sure you are not losing money, on average, for your visits.

•Adjustment per visit – If you see this number really high at the end of the year, or beginning of the following year, this means your back office/billing department are adjusting off a lot of bad debt.  It’s best to catch those claims before they even hit the 90+ category.

•A/R Balance – Always important to know what this is, and it should be monitored by payer class as well.

Regardless of what you monitor, be sure you are goal setting. Also be sure you are checking back on a quarterly basis, to make sure you are on track. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of the year and realizing you are so far off track, that it could lead to layoffs instead of year-end bonuses for hard working staff.