Financial Benchmarking

Financial benchmarking helps you evaluate the performance of your practice by focusing on a few specific indicators. We’ve identified some key revenue cycle, practice profitability and provider performance metrics that apply to most allergy practices.

Check out key performance indicators for Revenue and Profitability, Efficiency and Revenue Collection, and Provider Performance.

To get started, review your practice priorities and select a few measures that are easy for your practice to report. Track these metrics against other allergy practices (see data below) as well as against your own historical performance.

 

Practice Cost and Revenue Data

Thanks to the College’s partnership with the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), allergists now have access to current allergy-specific data, including charges and revenue, accounts receivable and payer mix, and staffing and expenses. Learn how to use data from the MGMA Cost and Revenue survey to identify opportunities for improvement in your practice with this “Allergy Practice Financial Benchmarking” webinar.

Review the 2017 MGMA allergy-specific practice cost and revenue survey results (based on 2016 data)

Allergist Compensation and Production Data

Curious about how your compensation and production data measures up against other allergists and other specialties? Take a look at the results of the 2017 Medscape Allergist Compensation Report and the 2016 MGMA Allergist Compensation and Production Survey. While these results should be interpreted cautiously due to their small sample sizes, they do provide a broad picture of economic benchmarks you may find useful in your practice.

 

MGMA Provider Compensation Survey
Allergy/Immunology Specialty, All Practice Types Except Academic

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

Median Total Compensation1

$285,847

$315,710

$320,637

$348,579

Median Work RVUs2

N/A

4,272

4,379

4,666

# Allergists Reporting

N/A

N/A

203

196

Source: MGMA DataDiveTM Provider Compesnation 2016. Used with permission from MGMA

1Total compensation = provider wages, bonus/incentive payments, research stipends, honoraria and profit distributions.

2RVUs = relative value units. Work RVUs are a measure of physician productivity and are calculated by multiplying the number of services for each CPT code times the specific WRVU value for that code. Next, add up the RVUs for each provider.

Review the 2017 Medscape allergist compensation report (based on 2016 data) and allergy-specific data from the 2016 MGMA Provider Compensation and Production survey (based on 2015 data).

 

Maximize Revenue

Take advantage of these opportunities to maximize revenue in your office!   

 

Update Your Fee Schedule

Make it a regular practice to review your fee schedule at the beginning of each year. If you don’t, you might be leaving revenue on the table. Make sure you’re getting paid fairly for the services you provide. In the process, you might discover hidden revenue! Learn more about updating your fee schedule.

 

Minimize No-Shows

No-shows are both costly and frustrating for allergists, resulting in lost revenue and reduced access for patients who need to see you. There are simple steps you and your staff can take today to fix this problem. Finding a solution for this is an easy way to increase practice profitability. Learn more best practices and strategies to minimize no-shows.

 

We remind all patients of upcoming office visits one to three days ahead of time. We also call all our shot patients the morning of their injections that are scheduled. Although the reminders in the morning for allergy injections takes significant time and effort, it does keep most of our patients on track for their allergy injections.



— Kevin McGrath, MD, FACAAI

 

The “Reducing Patient No-Shows” educational module, part of our Allergy Office Essentials package, has detailed strategies to identify the causes of no-shows plus ways to reduce them.

 

 

Tips and Tricks: Increasing Operational Efficiency

Our experts put their heads together to create this list of efficiency tips for allergy practices and staff.

  1. Use smart staffing and scheduling to find operational efficiencies in your practice.
    • Evaluate your level of support staff per physician. The results of a recent Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey indicate that higher-performing practices have more total support staff per full-time equivalent (FTE) physician. Don’t skimp on clinical support staff, since clinical staff can take on tasks delegated by providers and thereby improve provider productivity. Your practice’s most critical resource is provider time, so it’s worth spending a little more on clinical staff to maximize provider productivity.

       

      The 2017 MGMA Cost and Revenue Survey details allergy/immunology staffing levels per full-time equivalent (FTE) physician below. The chart details median staffing levels as well as levels for the bottom 10th and top 90th percentile of practices.

       

      Allergy/Immunology
      Staffing per FTE Physician

      Benchmark

      10th %tile

      Median

      90th %tile

      Total support staff

      3.4

      6.7

      14.0

      Total business operations support staff (admin, accounting, IT)

      0.5

      1.2

      2.5

      Total front office support staff (includes medical records staff)

      1.0

      1.7

      3.9

      Total clinical support staff

      1.9

      3.1

      5.9

      Source: 2017 MGMA Cost and Revenue Survey, 35 A/I practices of all sizes

    • Push your staff to work at the “top of their license.” You and your staff should work on the most complex, challenging tasks that each of your licenses, training and abilities allow – rather than spending time on tasks that could be done effectively by someone with less training. It is likely some of those tasks could be efficiently performed by someone else, which could free up your time to see more patients, improve patient and provider satisfaction and potentially improve revenue. Learn more about working at the top of your license.
    • Cross-train staff. There are multiple ways to cross-train front desk, shot room and clinical staff to help with bottlenecks throughout the day. For example, clinical staff should be able to schedule returns or check-in/check-out patients as needed. They should also be able to help if the shot room gets busy.
    • Schedule Xolair/Nucala injections. This helps keep patient wait time to a minimum and allows clinical staff to better plan their clinic.
    • Implement a daily staff huddle. Clinic can run behind if staff isn’t prepared. Have a brief huddle before each clinic to review the patient schedule and staffing for the day; check to see if needed labs/scans/test results are in; prep testing trays, if needed; etc.
  2. Take advantage of technology.
    • Use a patient portal. Using this system speeds up check-in and triage. Patients can also use the portal to request prescription refills and communicate with clinical staff, reducing time spent on patient calls throughout the day.
    • Pre-authorize credit cards or implement a “credit card on file” policy. When new patients are called to confirm their appointment, give them an estimated out-of-pocket cost. Inform them they will need to bring a credit card which will be pre-authorized for an amount equal to the estimated out-of-pocket cost. Credit card merchant service vendors can capture credit card information and pre-authorize a predetermined amount. Once the insurance remittance detailing the patient responsibility portion has been received, the card is processed for that outstanding balance amount. There’s no need for statements. For more information on “credit card on file” policies, check out our Collections toolkit.
    • Use bar code scanners for shot patient check-in. Some practice management and/or electronic health record (EHR) software can use bar code scanners to check in shot patients. This system keeps your shot nurse focused on efficiently giving shots, not manually checking in patients. It improves efficiency, accuracy and safety.
  3. Optimize space to improve workflow and patient experience.
    • Create team work stations to encourage collaboration. Facilitate communication among all members of a care team (allergist, nurse and medical assistant) by creating a team work space. This improves efficiency and strengthens your team. Locate team work spaces near exam rooms to maximize efficiency and minimize the steps required between exam room and work space.
    • Design patient-centered exam rooms. When designing or redesigning your exam rooms, consider including space where patients and families can discuss care plans, find a way to connect with patients while using your EHR, review the lighting and consider painting the room a calming color.
    • Standardize exam rooms. Create a clinical team (allergist, nurse, medical assistant) to recommend “standard” supplies that should be part of each exam room. Standardize all cabinets and drawers in each exam room so they’re identical. When an allergist or nurse is looking for a tool or supply item, they will know exactly where to find it, regardless of the exam room. That saves time for everyone.
    • Create a restocking system. This ensures every exam room is fully stocked at the beginning of each day – eliminating the need to stop in the middle of an exam or test to search for a missing item.
    • Put allergy shot room at the front of the office. A standalone shot room, located near the front of the clinic, provides easy access to patients and reduces clinic traffic.

    For more information on optimizing your workspace, read this Advantage article.

  4. Save time and money by using standard communications with insurers
  5. CMS' Administrative Simplification rule established standards to streamline communications between practices and insurance companies. Health plans are required to provide the following functionality, which can save your practice processing time and money!

     

    • Electronic Funds Transfer
    • Electronic Remittance Advice
    • Real-time patient eligibility
    • Real-time claims status

    A tip: Some insurers are sending payments in the form of virtual credit cards, which cost practices a transaction fee ranging from 1.9% to 3% or more of the transaction amount. If this is happening to you, you can request EFT instead, and health plans are required to comply.

    Learn how to use communication standards to benefit your practice.

 

Get more efficiency recommendations from your peers plus great cost-saving tips from members of the Practice Management Committee.

 

 

 

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