Your practice probably has a budget that you use to monitor your expenses to make sure that you're staying in the green. But what if we told you that your practice could be losing money in places that you can't see on that handy spreadsheet? Certain purchases that you have made, or processes that you aren't implementing could be costing your practice money that you don't even realize!
As we've said before, time is money, so even if you might think you're spending your money as efficiently as possible, there might be a few hidden areas where you're missing out on the opportunity for bigger profits. We will take a look at a few places we've noticed that practices might be losing money.
Has Your Practice Fallen Victim to These Optometry Practice Management Money Mishaps?
You aren't Monitoring Important Benchmarks
While your budget and profits are all on target for hitting your numbers from last year, are any of your numbers improving? It's important to take a look at how your practice has performed in the past, compared to how it's performing now. If you monitor these numbers regularly you'll be able to make the necessary adjustments to keep those numbers moving up, and not just staying even. Monitoring things in your practice like new patient growth, chair costs, inventory turnover, and optical capture rate are just a few of the benchmarks you could be looking at.
Your Practice Management System doesn't have Embedded Tools
You might have purchased an optometry practice management and EHR system for your practice to help save time, improve your processes, and ultimately save you money in the long run. But, is the system you bought an all-in-one solution, or are you looking to purchase add-on solutions for things like patient recall, ePrescribing, or code verification? Some practice management systems come with these tools built right into the software so that you don't have to shell out the extra cash on top of the expensive system you just purchased.
You didn't Participate in Meaningful Use
At this point, if you haven't hopped on the Meaningful Use bandwagon you're going to be hit with penalities on your Medicare reimbursements starting in 2015. But, there is still time for you to avoid those penalties in 2016 and the years after that. Penalties in 2015 are starting at 1% and will increase up to 5% in the years following. So why you no longer qualify for incentives from the Meaningful Use Program, you can still save your practice money in 2016.
Your Staff is Spending too much Time on the Phone
Chances are, your front office staff spends a good amount of their time on the phone calling patients for appointment reminders and answering follow up questions. Patient recall tools allow you to customize and automate your appointment and recall reminders via text or email. And, patient portals allow your patients to have secure access to their health info and education materials online. Using tools like these are going to help free up your staff, and allow them to spend more time with patients that are in the office and other revenue generating activities.
You Can't Access Your System from Home
The ability to access your system from home gives you so much flexibility as an OD. Cloud-based systems are accessed by logging into a URL with a secure username and password. These types of systems can be accessed from any compatible device with an Internet connection, even when you're out of the office. This allows you to keep in better touch with your staff, patients, and your business as a whole. Going back to the point about monitoring benchmarks for your practice, you can now do that after hours from your home with a cloud-based system. On top of that you'll be able to help answer patient emergencies and keep your patients happy with the ability to access their records when you're away from the office!
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