Tracking metrics in your medical practice can result in improved efficiency, profitability, and yield better results across your entire practice and revenue cycle management operations. Choosing what to measure and what to report is as important as deciding to start tracking measurements in the first place. In this post we will cover the 9 metrics that not only measure your RCM performance but the entire pulse of your medical practice.
There's Power in Data Storytelling
The value of reporting on data trends during meetings stems from the story behind that data. To that end, think about the message you want your audience to hear, then follow that up with the appropriate metrics and data.
Your practice needs to see enough patients, who are satisfied with your services, paying on time, and telling their friends and family about their wonderful experience. At the same time, and fundamentally, you need to see a trend toward patients' health improving over time. Sometimes this correlates with patient satisfaction, sometimes not.
Taking time to carefully analyze trends in the data you collect helps to find the underlying story and ultimately helps shape which metrics you report on during meetings.
Revenue Cycle Health
Keeping your revenue cycle management in good health is perhaps the backbone to a healthy medical practice. You need to make sure that patients are given the appropriate options to pay their bills in full and on time. You also need to track denials, submitting claims, and accounts over 120 days. You want to reduce bad debt while also improving denials and underpays.
Consider the following revenue cycle management metrics. Are you measuring these today?
- Days in Accounts Receivable
- Look for 30 days or less
- Net collections
- Look for 90 to 95% or higher
- Clean claim rate
- Look for 90% or higher
When you select and measure KPIs and monitor those measurements for trends, you can more easily see where improvements are necessary and will be of the most benefit.
The Hospital Value Based Purchasing Program is basing 30% of Medicare reimbursement on patient satisfaction, so evidently this is a metric worth tracking.
Taking a closer look, though, can unearth some troubling difficulties with this one. An article in the Atlantic notes that a satisfied patient does not necessarily create a healthy patient. In your practice, you want to aim for a high rate of patient satisfaction, but also ensure that their health is improving over time.
Consider developing strong rapport with patients and their families so that when you track patient satisfaction, you are more confident that the satisfaction comes from an informed place. Your patients should trust and respect your protocols.
Metrics that can help you track patient satisfaction include:
- Average time in waiting room
- Obviously, a downward trend is always positive.
- Social media followers
- Look for engagement rather than only large numbers.
- Population health
- This should generally trend toward higher population health
Finally, to give context to the above metrics, include measurements that help show a fundamental trend toward seeing more patients with a growing trend toward a higher charge per visit and a lower balance per patient per visit.
Metrics to track include:
- Number of patients seen
- This should increase over time.
- Average charge per visit
- Obviously, there are many variables that might impact this metric. Still, in general and over time, this should trend upward.
- Patient balance
- Again, you want a lower balance per patient over time.
Which Metrics Do You Track?
Do you find that certain metrics are easier to track for your practice? Do you find that tracking these over time has resulted in a better understanding of your practice? If so, leave us a comment below and let us know your experience.