3 Steps To Be As Successful As University Of Virginia’s Medical Group Practice.

 Erika Regulsky Tags: , , , , , Practice Management


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How keeping track of the key performance indicators has given this group practice an edge over its competitors in handling the revenue cycle…

The shift to value-based economic systems has de-stabilized many healthcare organization’s economic dispositions.

Group practices endured their share of the impact as well.

To re-stabilize this frenzied economic situation many had tried different methods, however, most times they were only left feeling even worse, insecure, uncertain or even lost.

Then, how should you be bracing yourself?

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Well, everyone must start by trying to shield their money with barriers against the economic drain points.

Placing checkpoints at strategic locations drastically help put a stopper to this oozing away of the revenue.

  • As reimbursement methodologies change and calls for transparency increase, the desire to move revenue efficiently remains the heart of healthcare.
  • Practices can no longer be successful by focusing primarily on insurance collections and neglecting the most difficult payer to collect from — the patient

This article will help you achieve your financial goals by pointing out the tried and tested methods that successful group practices follow.

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1.Following the Success Story – University of Virginia Medical Group

One such successful group practice is University of Virginia Health System. A recent revenue report published by them has put down numbers to their success. Following are a list of charts that show their growth and progress (actual & planned) through a course of one financial year.

Let’s jump right into their reports…

A) Clinical volumes

Growth in the clinical volume is a keenly sought after metrics that any healthcare institute would love to see boosted, won’t they? And, so did University of Virginia.

“All service areas showed growth in patient volumes over the prior year”, the report states.

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“With double-digit growth in the departments of dermatology, pediatrics and anesthesiology”, it continues.

FYTD

The YTD Feb results are 3.6% more than that of the previous years. And, it is over 1.1% more than the targeted scores!

 B)  Patient collections

These positive shifts also extended into their patient collections statistics as well, showing that UPG has exceeded budget nearly every month in the first half of this fiscal year.

Patient Collection trends

Despite unusual swings seen in the past few months’ stats, they were able to ensure reduction in accounts receivable and collect on aging receivables; resulting in collections that are higher than their expected volume.

FYTD1

The average AR days have dropped to 35.7, despite the organization witnessed an annual increase of 1.3% in comparison to their previous year.

C) The payer mix

Now getting into the payer mix data of the group practice, this report showed a gradual increase or decline of certain forms of payers during the course of about 5 years.

  • Medicare declines for the first time in four years
  • Self-pay continued in the path of multi-year decline
  • Patient’s proportion with commercial insurance had increased. It now comprises of 38.6% of total payer mix
Payer Mix Trends2016

2) Tracking the Indicators…

Now, University of Virginia Medical Group was able to attain these unexpected gains (small in numbers, but, significant enough) while many of the group practices in the country where facing some of their worst times. How were they able to do that?

Well, that’s majorly thanks to their commitment towards setting up a thorough system enabling them to keep track of their KPIs!

What did it do? It made it easy for them to measurement patterns and trends that would lead them towards fail-safe successes. Because, it allowed them to take decisive actions as the need called for.

Key takeaways by tracking the KPIs:

  • Monitoring for opportunities, challenges and performance boosts is made easy
  • Comparing with previous months or other available industry data allows your group practice to gain a strategic edge
  • Preparing for future trends ahead of time is made possible
  • Gain the opportunity to understand both your group’s good & bad revenue trends
  • Keep track of progress on intervals (daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis) as per desired
  • Prevent undesirable events before they blowup out of proportion

So, tracking KPIs should be the next thing on your to-do list for turning the trend of your group practice.

KPIs worth analyzing seem endless?

Ok, we have decided to track the KPIs, but the list of observable KPIs seem to go on…

The key here is to start with the set of indicators that show the greatest effect on your group practice’s economical performance. Based on the unique challenges, goals and opportunities that your group faces, having a discussion with the practice management or business advisors should further assist you in devising this list of indicators.

However, here are top 5 KPIs that your group practice will need to keep track of irrespective of the specialty.

i) Collection Reports: Keeping track of what’s collected and deposited to your bank is the first thing that you would have to be keep a track of, as it is what that ultimately sustains your group practice.

Collection Reports

ii) Charges: Keeping a close watch on charge fluctuations is the next thing that you would need to be doing. It has a direct impact on your revenue collection.

Charges

iii) Payables: Monitoring unpaid expenses are equally important as it helps keep your group’s cash flow in check. Having knowledge on unpaid invoices, their due dates and the availability of cash will keep you out of critical situations.

Payables

iv) Patient Appointments: Unfilled appointments equals loss in potential revenue, so tracking filled & unfilled patient appointments will allow your group practice to perform to its maximum potential. It ensures steady cash flow and operational efficiency.

Appointment Schedule

v) Rate of No-Shows: Keeping your appointment sheets filled up isn’t going to do much if no-shows are going to go unchecked. Patient cancellations or physician-direct bumps must be kept track of on regular bases. A group practice will be able to improve capacity management and optimize its scheduling.

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3. Allowing it to not become another report that sits on your desk!

Taking action is the last step to improving your group practice’s performance and profitability.

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Compare across daily, weekly, monthly and yearly performance and gain insight into your group’s progress. Monitoring these historical data can take your organization in the success path that institutes such as University of Virginia attained.

Also, you could consider utilizing apps to make this tracking process a lot more manageable. Finally, the most important of all, is ensuring all these don’t just sit in your inbox like yet another report. Take action…


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I’m a multi-certified revenue cycle management professional and compliance officer with 20+ years of experience. I contribute articles to leading healthcare publications and journals. I am currently working as Senior Transition Manager, in BillingParadise headquartered at Diamond bar, California. BillingParadise offers Medical Billing Services that intersect perfectly with the EMR/Practice management system you use.BillingParadise has offices in New Jersey, New York, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, and Texas.


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