In addition to being clinically competent, today’s plastic surgeon must also understand fundamental principles required to manage the business side of the practice in a proactive manner. Regardless of the size of the practice, the physician must keep informed of the issues that continue to change the economics of health care that affect income. In this ever-changing environment, the Practice Management Resource Center is a place that provides plastic surgeons and their practice administrators vital information that will help manage and grow their practice. Whether you are just starting your practice or trying to take your practice to the next level, this resource center supports your needs every step of the way.
Areas to collectively consider across your practice:
Quality Improvement is an easy and ongoing process that will put your practice on a continuum of success. Patients are your customers. They pay for a service, expect an outcome, and seek value. So what should be audited? Questions to ask yourself when planning goals for your practice:
- What services do you provide?
- How are outcomes achieved?
- Are your customers (patients) happy with your practice and the way that it delivers that product (service)?
- How are you retaining patients?
- Do you critically review how you connect with your patients?
Marketing is what it takes to get your message to your potential and existing customers (patients). When auditing your marketing strategies, consider the following:
- Have you looked at the accuracy and appropriateness of your content every time you renew, revise, or place a new message.
- Have you considered your market changes: your message and how it is delivered must connect with your market today and in the future.
- Do you have the best-optimized Web site return, which translate to patients who accept and remain loyal to you and your services?
- Legally, as an advertiser, it is your responsibility to know the letter of the law in your state. As regulations change, stay on top if it. Something as simple as board certification not clearly defined on your website could land you in trouble.
- Critically look at what is written, advertised, or blogged about you. Is the information printed or posted online consisten, congruent, and accessible? If not, you will ultimately dilute or send a confusing message to potential and existing customers about you and your practice.
Human Resources is not simply performance reviews.
- Annually, have you had a complete health review?
- Is your continuing medical education, licensure, and certification up to date?
- Do you have all the necessary insurance: risk, liability, accidental death and disability? If you do not and something happens, will it put you out of business?
- Legally, is your business/partnership plan up to date?
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance agreements are a basic. Does every member of your staff understand that privacy is more than a policy? A failure here could ruin your practice image.
Service and Productivity is a critical factor to patient satisfaction and loyalty; and loyalty is crucial to defining retention (i.e. returning patients).
- How much time is spent, by the provider and by each administrator, that is necessary to complete the entire office visit, procedure, course of treatment, E&M billing, and AP?
- How often do you send your E&M billers to Coding Workshops to keep your practice up-to-date, and improve the billing process cycle?
- Is your administrative staff proactive or reactive to issues? Consider their accuracy and repetition of tasks, and look for opportunities to review, change, and improve processes.