In the average medical practice, the effort to reduce cost and improve quality is a people issue. It is a people issue because about 60% of cost and 100% of a practices ability to improve quality or reduce cost lies in people.
This does not mean go out and find cheaper labor…in fact it means quite the opposite. Go out and find super qualified, motivated and tech savvy people to increase your ability to cut costs in innovative and creative ways and provide extraordinary patient care.
Let me give you a few examples:
- Your reception area – (what the patient sees and talks to first) should be staffed not just by pretty and young……..what will really get patients attention is smart and helpful. Preparing for visits by knowing patients insurances and deductibles about the plans they have will help patients better understand what their medical costs will truly be. Focus on employees who have experience in the medical business field….can use the technology available to pre-authorize patient procedures and confirm insurance requirements. The ability to collect in a very matter of fact way, but with a smile on their face is an attribute to any medical practice. This person should be a multi-tasker…….not just a pretty face. Use this position in many ways to help your practice educate patients and serve your practice well.
- Your nursing staffs – nurses are clinically trained and have a vast amount of useful knowledge in the clinical arena. Take the next step with nurses and also invest in tech savvy nurses. The EHR will become their domain. They will be the first to populate clinical data fields. Their ability to quickly grasp the importance of the EHR and the impact it will have on your practice is invaluable to you.
- Billing staff – the bread and butter of every practice is the efficiency of the billing staff. The ability to learn and execute accurately and timely visit and procedure transactions in the practice management system is the revenue stream driver. Chasing denials, communicating with payers, learning how to negotiate with payers and collecting all the monies due is important and vital to the success of the practice.
Can you cut cost while improving the quality of employees? Absolutely. In fact, hiring the best qualified and most educated persons will bring to the practice expertise that will allow you to find areas to streamline workflows automate processes and leverage technology to take your practice to the next level. These same people can bring excellent customer service and patient satisfaction that your practice needs.