Making a dіffеrеnсе іn раtіеnts' lіvеѕ іѕ a grаtіfуіng раrt оf mеdісаl wоrk. Hоwеvеr, аn іnvеѕtіgаtіоn bу Dr. Grеgоrу Lеwіѕ ѕuggеѕtѕ dосtоrѕ mау bе аblе tо mаkе a grеаtеr іmрrоvеmеnt іn реорlе’ѕ lіvеѕ thrоugh thеіr аbіlіtу tо wоrk lеѕѕеr hоurѕ wіth mаxіmum оutрut thаn thrоugh thеіr рrасtісе.
Wоrkіng lеѕѕ аnd еаrnіng mоrе аѕ a dосtоr іѕ a fеаѕіblе аnd vеrу іmроrtаnt аѕресt оf уоur саrееr аѕ a mеdісаl dосtоr. Yоu dо nоt nесеѕѕаrіlу nееd tо wоrk as an employee for a large organization tо асhіеvе thіѕ. Hаvіng уоur own private сlіnіс will bring you muсh mоrе satisfaction. Who started their own practice thinking they would love to work long hours, struggle financially and eventually get burnt out? Nо оnе!
I know it sounds crazy, but it is in fact possible to thrive in private practice.
StatisticsLet’s first start with the current statistics effecting private practices in today’s climate. These statistics are directly related to elements within practice workflow and operations that are in desperate need of attention.
Practice owners are starting to realize their patients now have a voice to express any concerns they have with clinicians. Their voices are being broadcast online through social media platforms and online review sites.
In a recent study 19 out of 20 negative reviews for medical practices were caused by inadequate communication and disorganized practice operations.Another study found 90% of preventable claim denials are a result of medical practices not focusing enough attention on front end processes. This includes retrieving the proper patient registration information including insurance information, verifying insurance and the accuracy of this information.
The number one cause of claim denials is inefficiently determining practice eligibility. This leads to money going down the drain.
And 65% of denied claims are left unresolved by practices. Which could represent thousands of dollars daily, weekly, monthly. If you are feeling a cash flow crunch, this is a common area of concern.
There are other issues happening due to inefficiencies in practices that are causing patients to be upset and frustrated. Specifically, having to do with patient wait times. Right now, the national average time a patient waits is over 45 minutes past their scheduled appointment time. And 97% of patients are frustrated by this.
This could result in lost patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates a practice can earn $750 a year on one Medicare patient annually. To quantify the cost of losing a patient, if 2 patients are lost weekly, that equates to $78,000 of lost revenue potentially.
A large majority of physicians, 77% to be exact, are saying they need more time for direct patient care because a lot the administrative tasks are taking too much of their time.Let's face it, we can't eliminate all administrative tasks, however we can certainly reduce the amount of time spent on them by effectively implementing the proper workflow processes.
MGMA also estimates practices are suffering between a 5% -7% no show rate. This may sound low, until you equate that to dollars. Let's just estimate a small practice has two patients that no called, no showed and didn't reschedule. Let's further assume that each of those patients would have revenued your practice $125. If you do the math annually, that equates to a $60,000 loss of potential revenue into your practice. That's staggering. There is more money down the drain.
Unfortunately, 80% of physicians are suffering from burnout caused by workflow issues.The good news is there's a solution. A large percentage, 75% to be exact, of workflow issues can be addressed by simply training and workflow redesign.
The first step is to have a comprehensive practice workflow process and procedure. Every staff member needs to be trained and held accountable for these procedures. These processes will also need to be reviewed and updated regularly.
Importance of ProcessesHaving a well designed process for every step in the practice workflow will eliminate staff complaining that they were never told how to do something. It provides the opportunity to hold your staff accountable and will increase practice efficiency, productivity and profitability, all while keeping the consistency of care.
Practice Workflow consists of:
~ Front Office Processes
~ Customer Service
~ Lobby Design
~ Patient Intake
~ Clinical documentation Process
~ Patient Check out
~ Patient Follow up
Every task needs its own step by step process and procedure. Training of these processes need to be conducted with every member of the team that could possibly have to perform that task at one point.
Cynthia Andersen is a Certified Medical Revenue Manager, a Certified Physician Practice Manager, a Professional Healthcare Public Speaker and a Licensed Professional Business Coach. You can connect with her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynandersen .