Three Keys to Stronger Practice Operations

With the many challenges that face today's medical practices, business operations remain at the core of a practice's ability to be successful and profitable. How you manage these three factors can make or break your long-term success:

  1. Staffing. The biggest expense category in most medical practices is nonphysician payroll and staffing. Are your staffing levels right for your office? An understaffed office can lose money through inefficiency; an overstaffed office may lack productivity. Too much overtime? You may need to automate some systems or hire outside contractors. Frequent turnover? Make sure your staff have the resources they need and a clear understanding of their roles and practice goals.

  2. Overhead. Controlling overhead is a key aspect of healthy practice operations. Is your cost of overhead rising? How does it compare with national norms? By examining individual cost categories, you may find ways to streamline your operations and purchasing procedures.

  3. Collections. Frequently denied or incorrectly paid claims often signal problems with your billing and collection processes. Unless your staff regularly monitors claims — tracking denial and incorrect payment reasons, time it takes to get paid by each insurer, and other relevant data — you won't know for certain which plans support the financial viability of your practice and whether or not you are collecting all the fees that are due.

TMA can help:

  • The TMA Financial Trend Tracker is a free online tool to help TMA members and their staff track monthly and yearly net collection ratios, accounts receivable percentages, and new and established patient visits. The tool presents a practice's key performance indicators in easy-to-read graphs and charts. 

  • Business Basics for Physicians, a TMA publication, helps you gain a basic understanding of financial management and other business topics, and guides you in setting the vision, direction, and policies that help ensure practice viability.

  • An operations assessment from TMA Practice Consulting provides a comprehensive diagnostic review of business operations including revenue cycle, financial systems, and human resources processes and procedures. The objective is to identify opportunities for process improvement and revenue enhancement. Contact TMA Practice Consulting at (800) 523-8776 or Practice.consulting[at]texmed[dot]org.

Published March 25, 2015

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Last Updated On

June 23, 2016

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