Managing a successful physician practice is a daunting challenge for even the most efficient operators. Drill down to what is required to ensure collection of all patient payments—along with the work necessary to maintain and grow the business—then add the regulatory challenges, and it feels even more onerous.
This is where a reliable billing and collection process can really help. Pathology practices and laboratories often use billing and collection reports to monitor key financial data such as charges, contract adjustments, reimbursement, collections and bad debt. But maximizing the usefulness of the data is a must if you want to grow market share.
Maximize the Value of Your Data
There are four steps to evaluating and growing your business using data generated by healthcare financial reports:
- Compare Hospital vs. Physician-Office Referrals
- Monitor Volume and Identify Leakage
- Follow the 80/20 Business Development Rule
- Sort by Specialty and Geography
Each of these categories can help you gain insights into customer satisfaction and retention, as well as identify growth opportunities.
Compare Hospital vs. Physician-Office Referrals
For hospital-based procedures, specimens are sent directly to the laboratory and pathology provider affiliated with the hospital. However, for physician-office procedures, physicians can refer to any pathology or laboratory provider.
Therefore, it’s essential to be able to monitor referral patterns based on place of service. Your billing-services provider should be able to provide a report with this level of detail.
Comparing a list of top referring physicians in the hospital setting versus the office setting can help you identify practices that are not referring patients to you from both places of service.
Recognizing this type of situation can create a business development opportunity to investigate why the same physicians are not referring patients to your practice from both care settings.
It is also an opportunity to encourage correlation of test results and continuity of care by using the same provider in both the hospital and physician-office setting.
Monitor Volume and Identify Leakage
Another key element of successful client maintenance and business development is identifying and monitoring physician-office referral patterns.
From your billing provider, you should be able to obtain a report that provides a list of physicians referring from the physician-office setting, and for each physician, the total volume and revenue referred for the trailing 12 months.
With this information, you will have visibility into referral fluctuations, and it will enable you to proactively reach out to clients to help maintain existing business.
When assessing referral volume by physician for in-office procedures, make sure you view the data with an eye toward group practices. It may be that there is a new physician within a practice who is not familiar with your services and not following the referral pattern of the group. You can address this leakage once you identify it.
Follow the 80/20 Business Development Rule
This is an important statistic to keep in mind: 80% of your volume from physician-office referrals is commonly received from your top 20 referring physicians. In the unit trend report, you can see each doctor’s percentage contribution to your total volume. To those who comprise the top 80%, you want to express your appreciation frequently as you continue to nurture and maintain their loyalty.
Likewise, once you have identified the physicians who comprise the remaining 20% of your referral business, you will know where your growth opportunities exist. These are the physicians from whom you want to solicit feedback about any issues they’ve experienced with your services, and ask if there are steps you can take to gain their referral business.
Sort by Specialty and Geography
Two other key areas of the physician-office referral trend report are practice specialty and geography.
Understanding your client mix and identifying the top referring specialties can help you better focus your marketing efforts on issues specific to that specialty. For example, a dermatology practice may be looking for a provider with “dermato-pathology” expertise, while an OB/GYN practice may be looking for a provider with both anatomic pathology and clinical services.
Lastly, sorting by geography is another way to identify areas for business development. You might discover a town from which you receive no referrals, but through which your courier travels regularly to another area. Reaching out to practices along the route can help grow your business.
Also, remember there are external pathology practice consultants who provide market analysis services to help you identify your current area and opportunities for growth.
There are many opportunities to maintain and grow your business just by carefully monitoring financial report trends. Viewing this information not only in the context of practice financial health, but also practice growth, will help you maximize the value of the data.
To learn more, call 866-817-3813 or visit: https://www.changehealthcare.com/solutions/pathology-practices
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