Did you know, on average patient no shows can cost the healthcare industry up to $150 billion annually? That is an immense waste of money that could contribute to more beneficial areas for the healthcare industry. Each missed appointment for a practice is lost money, which means there needs to be a solution for missing income. Some practices find it beneficial to have a fee charged to those who miss appointments to recoup some of the lost income. However, if there is a way to minimize the amount of missed appointments, then there is a better chance for increasing income. Starting with the beginning of the process, if scheduling is done well and pre-registration is completed, and the staff follow up with appointment reminders there is a higher probability that somewhere in those parts of the process the patient will cancel is needed. One of the top reasons for no shows is due to fear of payment. If prior to the appointment the patient knows exactly what they will owe after insurance, then they will more likely be willing to attend the appointment or reschedule for another time. Unfortunately, the number one reason for no shows is forgetfulness. Therefore, the appointment reminder phone call is important. The patient is more likely to cancel or remember to arrive for the appointment. Lastly, your practice should allow for cancellations, but there needs to be a cancellation policy in place. Patients should have ease of access to cancel through a patient portal, or the ability to call to cancel and know their call will be answered. Patients should be given a certain time frame in which they can cancel without penalty or reschedule. Take the time to review how your practice handles no shows, and from there find the areas for improvement, your cash-flow may depend on it.
Medical billing can be time-consuming, yet, if you’re like many physicians who are in private practice, you have your staff handle patient billing in-house. No doubt you know that billing is also one of the most complicated aspects of running your own medical practice.
Physician practices are facing competition from new sources, but they can take some lessons from companies such as Amazon and Southwest Airlines, according to two optometrists.
Topics: Medical Practice
A good administrator makes a practice more productive by ensuring all physicians and staff members work together smoothly and effectively, and that could be the key to a smooth transition to team-based care, according to an article in Diagnostic Imaging.
Process optimization has long been used by manufacturers to streamline processes, ensure quality control, and increase profitability. Companies like Motorola and GE, for example, were early adopters of Six Sigma, a quality improvement methodology aimed at reducing the number of defects to the point that they become statistically insignificant. As business improvement tools and methods were refined in the last part of the 20th century, the broader corporate world began utilizing various techniques to measure and optimize all types of processes – from customer service procedures to personnel evaluations to how organizations are structured and staffed.