Monthly Archives: November 2008

Doctors: Dig for the gold

Doctors can increase revenue by as much as $100,000 by all but eliminating the missed appointments. Here's how....First, look at the historical scheduling patterns for the past 30 days to get the average number of no shows and double-booked appointments. If it's more than 2 a day your scheduling is out of control and you are losing money. It's time to look at scheduling parameters; the amount of time allocated on the schedule for different patient types.Second, abandon the typical "everybody gets 15 minutes" because it isn't realistic and it isn't happening. All things aren't equal so schedule based on patient types and consider shifting to 10 minute increments to allow more flexibility. I call it the "Go-Ten" scheduling system and it works! Scheduling 10 minutes for follow-ups, 20 minutes for chronic or more complicated patients, 30 minutes for new patients and pre-ops, and 40 minutes for annual physicals is a perfect example - but you decide what works for your practice based on your patients.3rd, honor the schedule - start on time and stay on time! And if you don't want patients to make last minute cancellations you must do the same. Once you get this wired down you can start training everyone to value the appointment.4th, script out language for staff to tell the patients how important the appointment is. "Doctor is dedicating this time just for you" or "We expect you to be here on time." These are strong messages that get the patient's attention.Finally, set up an automated appointment reminder system that confirms appointments 48 hours in advance. It's a great return on investment.Enjoy the results; more compliant patients, getting out of the office on time and a bump in practice revenue!Contact Judy Capko, one of America's best known practice management consultants: www.capko.com

By |2011-03-13T12:21:33-08:00November 26th, 2008|

Six ways to make 2009 a better year

Not enough, not enough money and too many demands. I've been hearing a lot of this from physicians and administrators who are worried about the future of the practice and wondering how in the heck they can make things better. If you want 2009 to get better quit singing the blues. Here's a few things you can do to make a difference.Have a plan! Start by looking at the numbers to see how well your practice performed in 2008 in comparison to the prior year. Are your charges up or down? Is your accounts receivable stable? How about your profit - are you taking more or less home this year? If trends are out of norm ,you had better start digging deeper to get to the cause and the fix. Once you have the numbers in hand, set realistic performance goals for 2009. If reimbursement is expected to be about the same, increasing production means seeing more patients or providing more services. If your goal is to take home a bigger piece of the pie look for ways shrink some of those expenses by managing operations better and giving staff the tools and motivation to be more productive.Develop a Quality Plan that reduces errors and improves outcomes throughout the office. This plan should include setting performance expectations for each position. Hold staff accountable to specific standards that are measurable and can be monitored. Attract more patients. Look for ways to expand your referral base from within the practice. Start by taking a critical look at your website, make it a marketing tool and a customer service tool. Spotlight your services and the benefits of choosing your practice. Develop a patient portal that makes it convenient for patients to check lab results, request prescription referrals and even make appointments.Get every patient's cell phone number and e mail address. This will enable you to reach them with ease and communicate better. The age of technology is here and e mail can move information at the speed of light, saving lots of time and eliminating "telephone madness" in your office.Embrace technology - make

By |2022-01-01T22:53:00-08:00November 24th, 2008|
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