Goal setting in many of today’s practices is considered a waste of time or there is not sufficient time to be concerned with fantasy. Effective and practical goal setting is an important management tool to delivering quality medical care and achieving greater financial success for the practice. Over the past nearly 12 years of providing quality medical billing services to variety of medical disciplines including prosthetics and orthotics, few practices had in place specific goals financial or marketing goals. However, following several months of providing `Key Financial Reporting Data’ to practices they, the partners, began to see, understand and evaluate the reported data.
Two especially important pieces of information are the number of patients treated and revenues produced per patient visit and aging schedules. Practices began to realize the importance of analyzing the impact of treating patients and making sure once patients are treated, it is very important to making sure all notes and codes are complete, accurate and ready for filing by the end of day or within 24 hours of treating patients. Alert - Generating the practice’s aging schedule and discovering that more than 50% of the month’s $150,000 charges fall into the 30-60 day aging category should sound very loud alarms. Goal – Charges are ready for filing within 24 hours following treatment.
Today, physicians are treating a greater number of patients which has not been a particularly sought after objective. However, because declining reimbursement rates are negatively impacting many medical practices this unfortunate fact has resulted in doctors seeing more patients in an effort to maintaining revenue levels just to pay current operating costs. Goal – increase number of patients treated daily for each physician by 5.
Setting goals and objectives do matter and need to be part of the overall of the practice’s game plan. The managing partner needs to schedule monthly meetings with all members of the staff and make it a team effort. Engage the billing service. Explore and evaluate optional ancillary services. Establish goals, objectives, assign specific office staff for each of the practice’s goals, measure, assess and reward.