Last week I introduced you to the Six Pillars of Practice Management. Earlier this year, we launched the Choice Acuity reports. These are a series of reports based on the Six Pillars and designed to provide meaningful benchmark data so that practices can better understand how they compare with their peers. It is a benefit of membership in the Choice Network and those who get this feature are providing wonderful feedback. The primary purpose is to let you see where there is an opportunity to make a significant, positive impact on your business.
There is a lot of valuable information that we can extract from these reports, both as individual practices and collectively as a profession. These reports run such that each pillar is repeated 3 times per year (for those of you doing the math and scratching your head, call me and I’ll explain!) and August saw the second administrative report. This gave us the opportunity to look at the first set of data. And while snapshot benchmarks are incredibly valuable, being able to identify trends at both an individual practice level as well as a peer group will be incredibly important.
As we created this report, we assembled a team of experts and identified about 80 discreet, measurable elements that are common to most administrative processes. These 80 metrics were attributed to seven specific domains within the administrative role. For the report, we couldn’t begin to cover all of that information, so the team reduced everything down to what we thought was most critical to identifying the root causes of sub-optimal cash flow.
We know that a best practice, and one which many O&P’s find hard to do, is to collect 100% of the patient’s responsibility before you deliver the device(s). The report shows that between April 2021 and August 2021, collectively the practices that reported data in both periods had fewer patients owing money at delivery. Yay! We also noticed that there was less variability in all but one peer group. This means that as a whole, all the participating companies got closer to a common percentage. A high degree of consistency can mean several things; for one, it is an indication that we are identifying an acceptable or desired level of performance. I will say that two data points do not make a trend and it is way too early to start drawing conclusions, but it is still fun to think about the possibilities!
Another key metric we wanted to measure is the percentage of deliveries that are completed but not sent to the billing team. Company profitability can benefit from streamlined processes that allow you to get paid faster. The way we bill does not allow us to submit claims prior to delivery, but we should strive to bill as soon after delivery as possible. There are five peer groups that we have identified to represent the varying size of the O&P practices that participate in this. The group that represents the smallest practices is once again the only group whose values were opposite. But in this case, they showed an improvement (a lower percentage that had not been sent to bill) whereas all the other companies increased this percentage.
Across all companies, there appears to be a slight increase in the average number of claims billed but the differences were typically insufficient to impact the peer group placement. If a peer group change occurred, in almost every single case, it was to move “up” to a larger company comparison.
I hope you find this information interesting and that you want to learn more. Please visit our Business Intelligence webpage to find out more!