I recently did an informal survey of a few of my physician friends. I asked them to tell me about some of their recent patients, or some of their interesting medical cases. Without failure my friends could tell me about their patients in great detail. A cardiologist could explicitly explain to me about a specific patient’s lesions of the left main artery and what that patient’s left ventricular ejection fraction is. The family doctor I was speaking to could recall the trend of one of her patient’s HbA1c over the past few months. The level of detail that these physicians could recall was mind boggling, but then again we all know that doctors are selected by medical schools because they in part have an outstanding ability to process and recall information, especially data that is presented “scientifically”. Next I asked them about the financial metrics of their practice:
- What were your Days in AR last month and how is it trending?
- What percent of your AR is greater than 120 days outstanding?
- How does your Work RVUs compare with your practice partners?
- Do you know the general trend of No Show Appointments in your practice?
The answer to these questions and to similar questions regarding the financial health of their practices was always the same; I don’t know or I’m not sure. I was not surprised because as physicians we are trained to focus on our patients’ health, we trust others or perhaps no one to focus on the details of the financial health of our practice while we focus on the details of our patients’ health.
Physicians always have medical data available to them to make the correct diagnosis, and they use that data to carefully navigate the road to optimum health for their patients. I began to ask myself, why physicians don’t have the financial benchmarking data that assists in the diagnosis and management of the health of their practice at their fingertips? The answer is simple. Most doctors don’t have the systems in place to easily access, review and compare key medical practice financial benchmarking data. They are using software that doesn’t supply a graphical interface that provides a deep understanding of the financial health of their practice.
Think of benchmarking as health maintenance for the financial aspect of your medical practice. Like preventive care management of patient populations it is the continuous process of measuring and comparing performance data internally over time and when appropriate externally against the “best in class”. Benchmarking for physicians must be simple; most doctors don’t have the time to pour through pages of Excel schedules to deduce metrics that help diagnose their practice’s financial health. MediTouch Dashboard Charts provide the graphical interface that makes benchmarking simple.
Below is a sample of a simple dashboard chart of Evaluation and Management (E/M) coding for established patients.
The five common established office visit E/M codes are compared with a bell curve published by Medicare. In this case the provider may be too conservative – billing less 99213 and 99214 codes than the average (of course the key is in the medical documentation). This provider may have a revenue opportunity.
The same report is displayed below for another provider; in this case there is a skew toward 99214 visits. The percent of 99214 visits is above the bell curve. This provider should understand that this could be a red flag for payers. The provider may decide to reduce the number of 99214 visits billed. Alternatively if the provider does not want to change their E/M coding practice they should be documenting with great precision should a payer make a request for a chart audit.
MediTouch provides scores of dashboard charts that take just minutes to review. Each dashboard report has an explanation of how the data impacts their practice’s financial health. Each month providers can review their dashboard data and use that data to make meaningful changes in their office processes.
Billing companies that use the MediTouch system are in complete control of the dashboard reporting process. With MediTouch software the billing company is the resource that physicians use to access the data and exchange ideas with regard to increasing revenues and streamlining workflows that impact the bottom line. If you own a medical billing company and you are not supplying your physician clients with benchmarking data in dashboard format your competition will. Providing dashboard reports that reflect the outstanding work your team is performing on behalf of your clients is a great way to grow your billing practice.
Providing medical services has become a complex business. Doctors should not be ashamed to spend some of their time understanding the financial health of their practice and with MediTouch Dashboard Reporting they don’t need to make a great time commitment. The charts work on the Apple iPad so just a few minutes per month on your home sofa is sufficient. Remember, ultimately you are the manager of your own financial health. If you don’t measure it you can’t manage it and if you don’t value it you won’t change it. Who doesn’t want a better sense of financial security?