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15 ways to increase group practice revenue without cutting staff

 

No practice administrator likes to lay off staff, so what can you do to keep them and their benefits?

“When medical practice expenses creep too far into revenue, often a knee-jerk reaction is to cut staff. No practice administrator likes to lay off staff, so what can you do to keep them and their benefits? Find new ways to increase revenue. We’ve got 15 you can try:

  1. Place an ideas box in a well-trafficked spot for staff to contribute their thoughts on increasing efficiency and productivity. Discuss the ideas in a meeting, and choose one a month to implement. Promote healthy competition among staff by rewarding the employee with the winning idea.
  2. Convert paper explanation of benefits to an electronic format to save time on data entry.
  3. Renegotiate with vendors. To keep your business, vendors will find creative ways to save you money while still delivering value.”

Read The full article here:

15 ways to increase group practice revenue without cutting staff

Co-Pay Collection Best Practices @ TransforMED – Transforming Medical Practices

 

Co-pay Collection Best Practices

By Rhondda Francis and Sarah Breshears

primary practice co-pay colection at the check-in window

How many patients left your office today without paying their co-pays? Three? Five? Eight? Do you even know? Improved co-pay collection starts with practice leadership setting the expectation and is remedied by taking just a few concrete steps to set policies and procedures, train and educate staff, and educate and inform patients.

Just a few years ago, co-pays were $5. Today, $30 co-pays are the norm. Health care coverage is trending toward larger co-pays and patients are shouldering a larger percentage of health care costs, including purchasing high deductible health care plans where the patient is responsible for 100% of the cost of non-preventive care up to the deductible limit.

TransforMED Practice Enhancement Facilitator, Jim Arend says, "Consider this assumption, if the average co-pay is $20 and each provider has 25 patients per day that is $500 of co-payments per day.  Further, if there are 200+ workdays in the year, co-pays account for over $100,000 for each provider.  This is a significant amount of revenue."  

Arend says he believes co-pay collection habits among the TransforMED National Demonstration Project practices at the outset of the pilot improvement project were "sporadic", adding diplomatically "Some did well – others not." But TransforMED has been effective in helping practices get their co-pays collected consistently. "Often times," says Arend, "it was a simple matter of no one monitoring the collections."

Establish Co-pay Collection Policies and Procedures

The best time to collect co-pays is when patients are in your office. Once they leave your office, collections become more expensive and more difficult. In fact, with forms, envelopes, stamps, and the time spent – not to mention re-billing – the cost of collecting a co-pay after the fact can be nearly as much as the amount of the co-pay itself!

Develop a written policy – to be shared with your staff – that collection of co-pays is required before the patient’s appointment. Some practices prefer to handle co-pay collection as part of the checkout process, but TransforMED recommends co-pays be collected in advance of the encounter. This written policy helps ensure that all staff members and patients are aware of expectations and know and understand the policy. Make the policy available to patients on the practice website and make sure it’s communicated in person to new patients.  Get signatures from new patients acknowledging that they accept financial responsibility for services.

Arend cautions that getting a handle on your co-pays is more than words on paper. In addition to policies, you need accounting controls. "Co-pays need to be controlled carefully.  This is especially true because they may be paid in cash." He recommends three basic policies and procedures to control co-pay cash (see sidebar) and also advises practice leaders to seek guidance from their accountant.

 

Read the Full Article : Co-Pay Collection Best Practices @ TransforMED – Transforming Medical Practices

Categories: Financial Matters, Tips

How to Market a Medical Practice

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How to Market a Medical Practice

By Susan Payton, eHow Contributor

With fierce competition in the medical industry, it can be a challenge to stay ahead of competition. A well-developed marketing strategy can help you stand out from the crowd and increase sales for your medical practice.

Difficulty: Moderate

Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

  • Marketing plan
  • Marketing budget
  • Social media accounts

Read full Article:

How to Market a Medical Practice

Is Your Medical Practice Getting Creative in Hard Times

IS YOUR OFFICE BEING CREATIVE?

The economy is bad, people are losing their homes, and we are seeing signs of the bad times. Patients may not visit specialists and save money during such hard times. The question then becomes: Has your office adapted or modified the way you do business?

During these hard times, and a slow down of doctor office visits, has your office reacted to change? If not, you may want to read this story published on cnn.com about a dentist who decided to get creative and step outside of the box. He decided to practice at a Truck Stop. One that has 35, 000 people stop by every week. Click here to read more…..

No, we are not advocating that your practice open an office next at a truck stop area. But has your office changed the way you do business to attract patients, to help encourage them to seek treatment for their feet? If not, you may consider brainstorming with your entire office in creative ways to help bring-in patients.

You may consider doing some of the following:

  • Offering Flexible hours. Perhaps, extending your hour of service past 5pm, since most patients are more reluctant to take time off work in this bad economy.
  • What about offering a 10% discount to your patients that pay with greenbacks. Think of it… no credit card fees, no waiting for checks to clear, no insurance adjustments.
  • If your office is experiencing a slowdown, why not take advantage and have one of your staff members do marketing a few hours a week.

I hope reading this inspires your office to think of possible ways to bring in more patients.

-Jesus C. Vazquez, PMAC

Are you forgetting to collect copays?

Co-pays

It’s important to collect all co-pays upfront. Remember there is no better time to collect them, than when the patient is there right infront of you. In order to collect money, the person asking for it has to have some of the following traits:

  • Confidence.
  • Knowledge about the services and goods your office offers.
  • Assurance to the patient that your office knows the ins-and-outs of how insurances work.
  • A friendly smile that will bring confidence to your patients, assuring them that they have made the right choice to come to your office.

In most cases when co-pays are not being collected, it is usually common to shrug it off as if to say, “well we can always send out a bill”.

Sending a patient bill costs your office administrative time, postage and supplies. The average cost of generating a bill can be up-to $5 dollars. Remember to also factor in possible future collection attempts through phone calls and correspondence if the bill goes unpaid. Each month the bill is unpaid your chances of collecting on it, are greatly reduced.

Make sure you learn to simplify and reduce your administrative costs by collecting all co-pays upfront. An office that collects all co-pays upfront has the potential to be more financially healthy than those that don’t.

Take the time to educate your staff  in learning about the goods and services your patients receive; this way everyone is completely confident when asking patients for any money due.

-Jesus C. Vazquez, PMAC

Categories: Financial Matters, Tips