Group promotes successful management of medical practices throughout the state
The Arkansas Medical Group Management Association (ARMGMA) has a very specific vision in mind - to develop a group that promotes the successful management of medical practices throughout the state, and one that comes together for positive experiences and networking, said ARMGMA President Jill Smith.
"Our goals are to strengthen the skills of our healthcare managers by providing education, keeping them informed, and allowing opportunities to build relationships with other managers," Smith said. "Attending the yearly ARMGMA conference that we held April 24 does just that. We try to always provide information relevant to the latest healthcare topics. These topics could include anything from current legislative issues, to performance-based payment programs, to how to deal with a difficult employee. ARMGMA helps provide necessary tools to be a successful healthcare manager as well as a great opportunity to network with other managers across the state. "
Thomas H. Stearns, FACMPE
Thomas H. Stearns, FACMPE, VP Medical Practice Services, State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company, gave a presentation on Gems of Management, Lessons Learned in Life and Work. Stearns tells life stories that are personal and illustrate his points.
"One is to act happier than you feel and you will be happier than you are," he said. "Another is to make one person you don't know happy each day. I do that with servers a lot. For example, when a server hands me a drink, I say, 'I won't take it until you smile.' When you make people smile, you can't not feel better."
Stearns also spoke about the importance of asking advice.
"As a medical manager, it is important to get advice from people who are going to be affected," Stearns said. "Being a good manager is being a good person. Touch people you work with every day. For example, I always give Valentines to the people I work with. Also, as a leader you have a responsibility to care for your people."
Stearns doesn't tell medical managers how to send bills and balance the books, but how to be a better person.
"As a result, they are a better manager and the organization is better for it," he said.
Stearns said it is important to understand people remember kindnesses. For example, if your receptionist's mother dies and you send flowers, it is something that she will always remember.
Other pieces of advice he talked about is if you snooze, you lose - you've got to show up and even in the closest friendships one person works harder to make it work. He said it is also important to give back to your community, family and friends, balance your life and consider "What would mother want me to do?" when making important decisions. It is a good way to judge what you are about to do.
Kyle Matthews, CMPE
Kyle Matthews, CMPE, CEO of Phoenix Heart PLLC, spoke about ten financial reports doctors want to see. The following is a summary of the reports he recommends:
- Practice Dashboard. These are the highlights that your doctors need to see on a weekly basis. These includes financial stats, deposit details, accounts receivable (AR) by individual docs with green flags indicating AR percentages are improving and red flags alerting physicians and matters they need to investigate. "It allows us to identify any issue immediately instead of waiting until there is a major catastrophe already in progress," Matthews said.
- Productivity Dashboard. This dashboard is specifically looking at the work being generated by each physician. It is used in the case that a practice is worried not all physicians have the same work load or there is something that is skewing the work toward one physician more than another. List each doctor and their charges per week. It allows for discussions about how the schedule can be adjusted to have more balanced output for physicians. Green or red highlighting is used to show if a doctor is above or below budget.
- Monthly Overview. This includes the beginning AR, charges, payments, collection percentage, adjustments and the ending AR. Doctors are particularly interested in the collection percentage. If you have a large amount written off for a bad debt or untimely filing, it is important to know as soon as possible. You should have the discussion of what went wrong instead of glossing over amounts written off as adjustments.
- Previous year-to-date variance. This report is generated from the accounting system instead of the practice management system. Look at anything that has a 15 percent variance both negative and positive with revenue or expenses. He recommends this on a quarterly basis. This shows the wins and losses of the management team.
- Referral Dashboard. "This is the report we either live or die by," Matthews said. "I want to know on a monthly basis where the referrals are going. It lists all the physicians who refer into the practice in the given time frame so they know which physicians send the most and the least patients and how that changes over time. Particularly, I look at when referrals have gone down because I need to contact the referrals office to find out why referrals have gone down. If something has happened to upset them, you want to take care of it immediately. It works the other way, too. If a new referral source shows up, go visit and thank them."
- Procedure Cash Flow. This report is done for all ancillary services and serves as a cash flow predictor. It is also a very good compliance tool. If one physician has ordered triple the number of tests than any other physician, you want to know why.
- Physician Summary. This is year-to-date production and compensation data. It lists doctors and their charges, gross compensation, their RVUs (relative value units) in office, lab and hospital, and totals. "Regardless of the specialty of the physician in the practice, compensation per RVU allows me to level the playing field and see if we are over or under compensating a physician," Matthews said.
- Pro Forma. The best pro formas are simple and do not include things like depreciation. They are really basic. Every new process goes through the same pro forma. This helps them decide which ideas that the doctors come up with will be financially worthwhile. The hard rule is: Any new product or service being considered must go through this report.
- Compensation vs. Production. This is something that is done if you are looking for a problem or have found a problem. It is a report that shows each doctor and their charges, collections, compensation, and ratio. This is a decision point report. If you are trying to make a decision or trying to get the board to make a decision, you would access a report like this. Is this physician covering their overhead and expenses? You are only talking about professional fees, not ancillary revenue. This can be emotional for doctors. This is a private report only shared on paper - never electronically.
- Appointment Analysis. This report is tracking each doctor's availability. When is the next available appointment for a new patient? This is a good report to use not only to see what your appointments are, but also to justify when to hire a new provider. If utilization is approaching 90 percent, that means you will likely have no space available for new patients or follow-ups in the months ahead.
For more information, go online to: Arkansas Medical Group Management Association