A Few Key Strategies for Optimizing Revenues and Increasing Operating Margins

Many medical practices are struggling to making ends meet and maintaining minimal cash flows.
The one key culprit is lower reimbursement rates, especially in family, general and internal medicine
practices. Many practice administrators are throwing up their hands in complete frustration.
Fortunately, there are several key areas of office administration and operation that can present
opportunities for increasing revenues and improving operating margins.

Accuracy – Accuracy produces efficiency, `maximization’, talent and cash flow. Accuracy should
be emphasized and encouraged at every possible opportunity. Employees should gain a sound
understanding of the fiscal meaning of `accuracy’. For example, the URS management team emphasizes
the importance of accuracy when reviewing charges, coding, entering demographics, posting payments
and responding to patient inquiries. Understanding this key aspect of production is absolutely essential
in those practices experiencing lower revenues and operating margins.

Let’s take a moment to evaluate the negative financial impact of a billing staff which continually makes
charge and demographic entry mistakes. If it takes one member of the billing staff to accurately conduct
the daily processes of entering charges, demographics, posting payments, insurance follow-up and
responding to patient inquiries, one can attribute reasonably accurate production costs to perform
these tasks.

Now let’s look at another staff member who conducts the identical tasks but it takes an additional 3
hours of the following day to complete them because mistakes have been made and additional time is
needed in the next day to finish. Obviously one can see the added costs to the practice which directly
impacts the practice’s bottom line.

Establish Benchmarks – One way to encourage and better manage efficiency within the practice is by
establishing `production benchmarks’. Benchmarking efficient production modeling facilitates personal
and team challenges and competitiveness within the medical practice. It is a management concept
which benefits management because it assigns both personal and team responsibilities resulting, in
many cases, less time for management oversight.

One key and very important aspect to `benchmarking’ production is rewarding achievers; whether
a team or individually, financial rewards tend to encourage and motivate certain staff members to
wanting additional responsibilities and desiring potential management positions.

The biggest and most obvious financial benefits of benchmarking are accelerating cash collections,
improved practice efficiencies and operating margins. The URS management team has been utilizing
these production benchmarking management concepts since 1998 and our billing services have greatly
benefitted each client; many for more than 5 years.

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