Archive for December, 2013

Use a Weekly Summary to Keep Informed and Up-to-Date

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

William R. Pupkis, CMPE, Healthcare Consultant

weekly_summaryThere are certain useful facts both the doctor(s) and office manager/administrator should review routinely. Without those facts, practice decisions might be made in a haphazard manner.  With the facts, however, a continuing “feel” for the practice will develop. This weekly summary should be presented on the same day every week in a format that will take the bookkeeper, manager, or assistant only a few minutes to prepare.

A single sheet of paper or spreadsheet can contain space on the form for as many as eight weeks.  Then, each week’s entries can be listed in the next open space.  Distributed weekly, the summary automatically becomes a comparative report.

Financial reporting

The information items should include the cash balances (checking, savings, and/or money market accounts) and amounts collected for the month-to-date.  You can also provide estimates of the coming week’s collections and obligations (payroll, outstanding bills, etc.). These estimates would help show whether further cash may be required or, on the other hand, whether more cash can be withdrawn or perhaps paid into the retirement plan.

Other basic practice information, like the number of new patients seen versus total patients seen, or the number of surgical procedures performed, can be included. You might also add insurance claims pending, for example, the number and total value of claims sent that week.

Operational activities

"Include the manager’s observations..."

Include the manager’s observations of what has been happening in the office, a report of the manager’s activities, and any upcoming concerns for the following week.  By distributing the report each Friday, the doctor(s) can read it over the weekend and come in Monday with a better overview for the week. The following are sample remarks one might find in a summary report.

REMARKS – Ortho-Preferred will mail malpractice quote; renewal date changed to August 1.  Sally attended the coding seminar last Wednesday and will share her notes during Tuesday’s staff meeting. The heating-A/C company will submit the proposals next Thursday; I’ll make copies for you; decision needed soon.

TOTAL CHARGES =             $________        TOTAL RECEIPTS =            $_______
TOTAL PATIENTS =             ________        NEW PATIENTS =               _______
CLAIMS SUBMITTED =           ________        TOTAL CLAIMS =              $_______
CASH IN BANK =              $________        NEXT WEEK’S BILLS =         $_______

In summary

Present a weekly summary on the same day every week, listing selected facts in a simple format. The information keeps the doctor(s) well informed, allows the manager/administrator to assume responsibility, and helps both parties make informed practice decisions.

Terms and Conditions

Statements and opinions expressed in the Newsletter, Preferred Talk, are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of DT Preferred Group, LLC. DT Preferred Group, LLC makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. In publishing this Newsletter, neither the authors nor DT Preferred Group, LLC are engaged in rendering medical or other professional service. If medical advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. DT Preferred Group, LLC will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. This policy is subject to change at anytime.

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What a New Manager Should Do?

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

William R. Pupkis, CMPE, Healthcare Consultant

Managerial_PositionA new manager, particularly one who has been promoted from “within the ranks,” is faced with a host of challenges.  Here are some suggestions to help with the transition.

Begin thinking on your new level

Reorient your efforts and attitudes to reflect your new level of authority and responsibility.  This includes acknowledging that you are no longer “one of the gang,” and thus making the necessary adjustments in your relationships and expectations.

Consider problems one at a time

You cannot solve all of the practice’s problems on your first day. You need to prioritize and to allow time for proper study and planning. Move slowly with decisions that cannot be easily reversed, and more rapidly with those that can.

Learn to delegate

You cannot do it all yourself. Your primary role is no longer as a “production worker.” Allow adequate time for your managerial duties.

Start with tighter than necessary controls

"Communication at and between all levels..."

You can always relax later when things are going well, but it is difficult to tighten controls if you have started with a relaxed attitude.  Also, be prepared for resistance and testing of your policies and authority.

On the opposite side of the authority issue is the need for a manager to develop an open, cooperative office. Communication at and between all levels of employees should be encouraged. A manager who attempts to stifle communication will soon lose the capability to motivate the staff. The manager should keep an open door, be an extremely good listener, but fight like heck if he or she is undercut.  NOTE: It is vital that physicians give their managers adequate authority to do the job and support them 100%.

Be a student of the business

A managerial role involves making decisions. You must be willing to learn, grow, and most importantly, lead, so that you can do your very best in the job.

Terms and Conditions

Statements and opinions expressed in the Newsletter, Preferred Talk, are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of DT Preferred Group, LLC. DT Preferred Group, LLC makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. In publishing this Newsletter, neither the authors nor DT Preferred Group, LLC are engaged in rendering medical or other professional service. If medical advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. DT Preferred Group, LLC will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. This policy is subject to change at anytime.

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Who Should Pay for Leasehold Improvements?

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

William R. Pupkis, CMPE, Healthcare Consultant

LeasingOfficeIf you are considering a move to newly leased office space, the cost of leasehold improvements can become a true item of hard bargaining. Extra plumbing, lead lined walls for X-ray, built-in counter space, and wiring for computer systems might be paid by either the landlord or the tenant, depending on the negotiating circumstances.

Adjusted Rent

"...it can create a trap for the tenant"

The landlord might assume the cost of part or all of the improvements on an agreement to raise the monthly rent enough to repay the amount over the life of the lease. For example, the rent on a five-year lease might be increased from $18.00 per square foot to $20.00. This may sound appealing, but it can create a trap for the tenant. After several years, the landlord might not remember why the rental rate was $20.00 and may consider this the existing base rent. As a result, your renewal increase could be calculated using the $20.00 per square foot rate rather than the initial $18.00 rate.

Alternatives

If the landlord pays for the leasehold improvements and you negotiate an adjusted rate, you can have language put into the lease clearly stating that any rent increases beyond the initial lease period will be calculated at the lower, $18.00 rate. Or, if it is decided that the landlord will not assume the cost of the improvements within the $18.00 base rate, you can pay for the improvements. When it is time for your lease renewal, the bargaining will start at the $18.00 figure.

Terms and Conditions

Statements and opinions expressed in the Newsletter, Preferred Talk, are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of DT Preferred Group, LLC. DT Preferred Group, LLC makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. In publishing this Newsletter, neither the authors nor DT Preferred Group, LLC are engaged in rendering medical or other professional service. If medical advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. DT Preferred Group, LLC will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. This policy is subject to change at anytime.

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