Keeping Focused on Business in Healthcare as we Prepare for Fiscal Cliff
As we contemplate next year........and the inevitable changes coming, it may seem difficult to stay focused on the business we actually have some control over......but that's exactly what we need to be doing.
We cannot control what our legislators do/don't do......we cannot control the rules and regulations coming down next year in regards to the Healthcare Act, but, what we can control is our own operations and accounts receivables.
Changing the things we do have control over must be our business focus. Here are some things we do have control over and which demand our attention:
- Purchasing - we can control who we purchase from and we should. Now's the time to re-look at our vendors and decide who meet our criteria and who do not. It may be time to do some comparative shopping. Putting pressure on vendors for lower rates or changing vendors to achieve lower rates needs to be a priority. For most of us, 2013 budgets are in place and for many of us, those budgets are conservative.
- Accounts receivables - We control accounts receivables....or at least we should. Aging AR really has no excuse. If AR is aging, take the time to find out why....and then fix the problem. If you don't know what is causing aging, hire someone(s) who can do an exhaustive search of AR to find the issues and make recommendations for change. Almost 99% of the time, aging in AR is caused by people. People who are not working AR appropriately or are not paying attention to the details of AR. The right persons who understand the workings of AR and have the right reports that are looked at frequently to determine issues is a must.
- Schedules - Controlling schedules gives us far more options than one might think. For instance, you can control the number of Medicaid patients you see in a day. You can control how many new patients you see in a given time period. Taking a hard look at the schedules and creating slots for good paying insurance and limiting slots for poor payers may give you an unexpected uplift in revenue. The schedule should be managed with the same business sense you use to control anything in the practice.
- Patient Satisfaction - yes, that's right....you can control how satisfied patients are with your practice. One clear way to do this is to simply listen to them. What is it they would most like to see your practice improve? The most obvious way of improving patient satisfaction is to limit their wait time to see provider. This is a work flow issue and needs to be addressed if this is a problem in your practice. Respecting the patient's time is providing value to patients and they will respond to that. Opening up evening hours for working patients may be another way you can deliver patient satisfaction.
These are but a few ways you can stay focused on the business of your practice. What happens next may be out of our control.......so focus on the things you can. Pretty simple eh?