It’s a law of doing business that to be profitable, you must control your practice, both its delivery and administration. I’m sure you’ve discovered that this is easier said than done. The ultimate solution is to get trained as the CEO of your practice. Until you can fit that training into your schedule, here are four essential paths to increased practice profitability to work on now:
#1: Increase patient visits: Primarily, this is achieved by getting more new patients into your practice. Ramp up your internal and external referral programs. Establish a marketing/PR program and keep it running each week. Ensure you and your therapists are staying in touch with discharged patients. Email them about new services, facilities, therapists, hours or other news. Educate them on other benefits you can offer them, their family or their friends.
On the treatment side, ensure your therapists are thoroughly educating patients on full corrective care and obtaining a commitment to complete treatment plans. Set weekly productivity goals for each of your therapists. Analyze treatment patterns to determine if patients are finishing their treatment plans or are dropping out early. If they are dropping out, find out why and correct the situation.
#2 Increase average billed: Monitor the charges, looking at time spent treating each patient, how many modalities are utilized and so on. Always correct in the direction of giving each patient ideal care and improvement in a viable amount of time. Collect co-pays, deductibles, payment for cash-pay visits or product sales instantly. That way you never have any income walking out the door.
Ensure that every diagnosis and service is properly coded and that no services are omitted. Increase your rates when it’s appropriate and warranted. Maintain a determination that you will be properly paid for the valuable services you deliver.
#3 Decrease write-offs: Always send bills as instantly as possible. This is one area you never want to let backlog. Monitor collections, never letting them drag out. Monitor key performance indicators such as “income per visit” and “cost per visit.” Negotiate with insurance companies to improve payments and be willing to fire the company if they won’t budge. This can be nerve-wracking but will quickly decrease write-offs.
#4 Decrease overhead: There are many ways to decrease overhead while maintaining your ability to deliver excellent service to your patients. We touch on just a few of the highlights here:
- Only hire staff with proven productivity records
- Establish pay plans that include incentives for achieving productivity goals
- Ensure that delivery staff costs do not exceed 35% of your income
- Ensure that total payroll is no more than 50% of your income
- Control expenses with a systematic method of financial planning
We cover a lot of ground in this one article; we know it can seem a little overwhelming. If you find you need one-on-one training or consulting, we provide management training and consulting services that make these pieces fall into place. Contact Survival Strategies to get started.