There is a reason there are provider practices called "best practices.” They fall into a category of healthcare practices that are determined to not only strive for that excellence in every aspect of their healthcare delivery but also achieve it. So how do you know that your practice is a "best practice?” What are the metrics used for determining?
They fall into 4 categories:
• Profitability and cost management • Accounts receivable and collections • Productivity, capacity and staffing • Patient satisfaction
Best practices can also demonstrate their success in monthly and annual meetings that measure the various aspects of the practice against MGMA annual report on best practices.
Profitability and Cost management
Best medical practices have fewer bad debts due to FFS (fee for service) activity per physician. These groups have between $6,900 and $$14,000 less in bad debt than other practices. It can also be said that these groups actually do consistently better than the MGMA standards in keeping overhead low.
Accounts receivables and collections
Low AR days characterize best practices in this category. They have 7 – 10% of their total AR in the 120+ day bucket of Aging report (ATB); less than 20% in the 90+ column. Strong cash flow is critical to best practices as well as collecting 90-100$ of co-payments at time of service.
Productivity, capacity, staffing
Operational efficiencies ensure assuring strong provider productivity, including utilizing physicians and nurse practitioners and patient flow redesign to accommodate EHR critical to success. Leveraging physician time through a higher ratio of support and ancillary is a hallmark of best practices. While sounding counter-intuitive, higher staff cost per FTE is the characteristic of best practice.
Groups that excel can always be found looking for ways to improve patient satisfaction. And the only way to provide this service to is survey patients asking for feedback on formal patient satisfaction surveys. Surveys about appointment availability, staff, wait times and the patient’s over-all experience at the practice will allow practice to evaluate and improve the over-all patient experience. Feedback can also be used to educate physicians and staff.
Being a successful medical practice is a process of having the right people with the right training doing the right things at the right time. By focusing on the needs of the patients, best practices develop the pattern of communication and focus. Take the time to measure your practice against the survey results of MGMA annual Performances and Practices of Successful Medical Groups.