Begin improving your Collections Per Hour with a solid schedule.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are critical tools for evaluating the performance of your practice. They serve as benchmarks to compare your performance with industry norms and as the basis for goal-setting in growing your business.
Collections Per Hour (which is often broken down into Collections Per OD Hour and Collections per Staff Hour) is among my top KPIs for a couple of reasons. First, it measures both the efficiency and effectiveness of everyone in your organization. Second, it’s easy for each person in your office to understand how they contribute to this KPI. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of my methods to increase Collections Per Hour. In this part, we’ll look at your front desk.
There are many possible ways that front desk staff can impact Collections Per Hour for both ODs and staff, but nothing has a more negative impact on Collections Per Hour than holes in your schedule. Here are a few strategies to help you engage your front desk staff and cut down on the number of gaps in your appointment book.
- Make sure the front desk employees are aware of the cost of an empty slot in your schedule. (On average it’s about $350.) Share this important metric – your specific Collections Per Exam – with those who confirm appointments. This is critical and bears repeating frequently.
- Keep an updated wait list of patients who might be able to fill an opening with short notice.
- Most EMR software allows tracking appointment history for patients. Document those patients who arrive late, cancel on the same day or no-show and flag them for special attention when confirming future appointments.
- Consider an office policy that charges a fee to patients who cancel on the day of their appointment or no show. If you do this, it’s important to have patients sign a form that they understand the policy. I suggest a warning rather than a fee on the first offense.
- Communicate to front desk employees that properly confirming and entering third party coverage is also critical to the amount of money collected for each hour worked by doctors and staff.
It is easy to justify incentives to employees for decreasing the percentage of open slots. Consider financial rewards and recognize their achievements as being a key part of your overall success.
A filled appointment schedule is a critical first step to improving the Collections per Hour KPI. Good patient flow will give you a solid foundation to work from.