Medical practices of all sizes, specialties and geographic locations should undergo an assessment of their operations at least every 3 years. The problem is that ~1,095 days come around very quickly; it’s all too easy to suddenly realize that 5 years or more has gone by without having completed this important task. Unless your practice is having specific problems, a practice assessment may be put on the backburner.
In reality, scheduling regular assessments will actually help your practice avoid problems in the future. It’s a proactive way to keep your practice moving forward and growing in all areas of your business. By having an objective third party audit different aspects of your practice, report their findings and make suggestions for improvement, you can focus an eagle eye (rather than turn a blind eye) on areas that may be falling short in both patient care and administration.
Medical Practice Assessment Goals
The reason to undergo a practice assessment is to ultimately meet certain goals such as:
- Increase patient volume
- Improve conversion rates
- Recover more collections
- Reduce accounts receivable
- Enhance staff productivity
- Enrich every patient’s overall experience
- Boost revenue
For example, a medical consulting company can perform these types of assessments:
- Loss of revenue potential due to billing cycles, collections, claims submissions, payment posting, etc.
- Gaps in workflow processes, from front desk to billing to patient flow
- Employee theft or embezzlement
- Utilization of information technology advancements
- Handling of insurance verification and patient no show protocols
- Fee schedule updates and profitability analysis
- Need for staff training
- Profitability of services provided
In-office, hands-on evaluations and interviews with staff will provide invaluable information. Armed with specific information about your practice’s unique strengths and weaknesses, you can start making specific changes to address each area. By taking time to gather this information and, most importantly, act on it, your practice can start to grow!
Side Benefit: Employee Morale
With improved, streamlined workflows and less stress about the financial stability of your practice, there will be a trickledown effect on staff and physicians within the practice. When everyone can focus on patient care – the real reason you are in the medical field – there is sure to be a boost in employee morale across the board.
DIY (Do It Yourself) Practice Assessments
It is possible to perform practice assessments using your own staff. If your practice has the internal staff that has the time and expertise to gather comprehensive information about patient tracking, scheduling, medical records, staffing, policies, billing and more, then do-it-yourself practice assessments may be possible. However, there is one criterion that may be missing from the equation if you utilize internal staff: objectivity. An internal employee may feel uncomfortable identifying gaps of co-workers, pointing out inconsistencies or errors, recommending staffing changes, etc. It is typically recommended that practices hire an outside consultant to handle this task. It will be money well invested into the future of your medical practice.
Look for Specialists
When researching consulting firms to perform your practice assessment, it is best to choose one that has extensive experience in your medical specialty. For example, an ophthalmology practice is quite different from a dermatology practice. The more the consulting firm understands your specific medical coding requirements, the typical mindset of your patients and your overall business model, the more complete their assessment will be. There will be fewer questions that will need clarification and they will have clearer benchmarks from which to relate from other similar practices. Overall, it will be a more seamless process.
Resource for Ophthalmology Practice Assessments
Advantage Healthcare Consulting, a division of Advantage Administration, has performed over 350 practice assessments for ophthalmology practices and other types of medical practices. This service falls under the umbrella of The Administrative Advantage MSO®, a Management Services Organization that allows unprecedented savings to its members on medical products and services they use every day to run their business and improve profitability. Hiring Advantage Healthcare Consulting, a division of Advantage Administration, to handle your practice assessment comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee: if we do not provide satisfactory results, you pay nothing for our service. Less than .02% of our past clients have not paid our invoice.
One of the reasons why our clients appreciate our help is because we perform the assessments on location within 3-4 days. Every client is provided with a presentation covering our findings and recommendations on the final evening of the site visit. Within one week, we follow up with a comprehensive written report on how our team can actually help your practice implement changes for improvement.
Members of The Administrative Advantage MSO® will then have the opportunity to tap into the expertise of a variety of pre-selected service providers to move forward with the goals: billing/collections, marketing, IT applications, staffing/recruitment and much more. All of the services under The Administrative Advantage MSO® umbrella come with incredible savings, a major benefit for members.
To learn more about how Advantage Healthcare Consulting, a division of Advantage Administration, can provide a medical practice assessment for your ophthalmology practice, contact us today.