The Bottom Line

We’ve all heard the term. Likely we all no what it means but how many healthcare workers actually have had training in running a business. We are trained to collect data, evaluate is critically and we are experts in “fuzzy logic” or how to come up with the right answer when some of the data is missing, some of the data is wrong, and well you know the people that we call “patients” were never taught how to explain there symptoms. Being a medical practitioner is difficult. We are expected to altruistic, caring, and perfect in our diagnostic and treatment regimens. That in and of itself is a tall order. But to be an expert in business at the same time? Without any training? Do I even like doing this business stuff?

Yet, the financial health of your practice, and what you can take home to your family makes a huge difference in personal satisfaction, burnout and productivity as a practitioner. Understanding “the bottom line” and the elements that lead to this most critical business factor leaves the majority of practitioners, confused, frustrated and sometimes just angry. In its simplest terms the Profit equals Revenues less Expenses.

Revenues are affected by numerous issues. Payer mix, contracts, coding habits, how many hours a practitioner is willing to work all affect revenues. Poor coding habits alone can decrease revenues as much as thirty percent. Contracts are difficult for practitioners. You have to get in a room with your bitterest enemy, go toe to toe, convince them that you are worth more money (while not losing your temper by the way) and come out with a significant enough increase to make the process worth while. Payer mix is more difficult to manage but CAN be managed. It starts with an analysis of your existing Payers and calculating whether you are actually able to make a profit with a specific payer on board.

Another component of the revenue stream is evaluating and managing the revenue cycle. Because of our curious and frustrating three party system where one party consumes, one party provides services, and a third party pays. The patients are increasingly savvy consumers that are not happy with the way things “have always been”, the provider wants to do his or her job and “just get paid”, and the payers, well, get highly expert at avoiding payment. Maximizing the revenue cycle is critical to revenue.

Maybe, what you really need is new services to offer. There are novel ways of getting paid that do not depend on your least favorite insurance company. Perhaps yur practice has unique services that currently you are referring our but could be capturing revenue stream.

Expenses are even more complex due to the number of involved vendors. Almost always, payroll and payroll abuses are the biggest expense categories. Managing staff and getting good performance which we as employers can call good “value.” Comparing vendors, continuously repricing vendors services are key factors.

We have all heard these things but many of are vague on how to set about doing these things. SRC knows the way, has walked this walk, and can help you rev your business up.

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