Written by Amber Taufen, MGMA assistant editor
Businesses can spend thousands (if not millions) of dollars every year attempting to capture information about their customers, efficiency and bottom line. But you don't have to do that. Widespread adoption of EHR and practice management software means that many medical practices have this information at their fingertips – they just don’t use it.
“The data you have in your practice is an asset,” says Nate Moore, CPA, MBA, CMPE, president of Moore Solutions Inc., Centerville, Utah. “Practice management and EHR software are going to capture the information, and it’s going to spit back the data you need to attest and get meaningful use measures for the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The software’s sitting on all that data — and a ton more.”
In "Using data wisely," an article in the April 2012 MGMA Connexion magazine, Moore mentions several ways you can use this data to help improve your practice’s level of efficiency, your patient care and even your bottom line. Just crunch these numbers:
- “The low-hanging fruit is the financial-related information,” Moore notes. How long does it take to collect from certain payers? What are their rates of denial? How many days do claims stay in accounts receivable (A/R)? Are there patterns you can trace for the claims that stay in A/R for the longest amount of time?
- Look at your appointment information. “If you understand appointments, you can understand where your no-shows are coming from and where new patients are coming from,” Moore says. “Is a patient less likely to show up if they made the appointment yesterday? Or are they less likely to show up if they made the appointment two months ago?”
- Have physicians slice and dice the clinical data. “What treatment protocols are you using?” Moore asks. “Which protocols are more effective in terms of curing the patient? What side effects might occur from different protocols?” As you gather this data over time, you can start to compare how different protocols measure up – and learn which protocols are most effective in terms of outcomes.
- Moore advises practices to think about how you can integrate what you know about your patients with what you know about the clinical side and the financial sides. For example, cross-reference your phone records with your payer information: How much time do you spend on the phone with various payers? Compare that information with the level of reimbursement you receive from each payer. Analyze whether you should consider re-negotiating your contract with a particular insurance company.
Moore will speak at the MGMA 2012 Annual Conference in San Antonio. Registration opens April 17.
Read Moore’s article, “Using data wisely” online on virtual Connexion.