Do you know the four, main metrics by which you can measure your practice’s health?
Neither did today’s guest, Dee Bills—a physical therapist turned owner of Private Practice Administrative Consulting—until she sat down and figured them out (more on this later).
After nearly two decades of working in the private practices of others, Dee decided to buy her own practice in 2005 from the hospital where her husband worked at the time.
At first, everything was great.
The thrill of being a practice owner was invigorating, and—as Dee will admit—the newfound mantle of “ownership” cast a happy, king-of-the-castle veneer over every emerging obstacle and problem.
But after five years of life as a small business owner and PT practitioner, the gilded veneer of “ownership” had worn completely off. Dee was tired, frustrated, and left facing some stark realities—both economic and operational—about the future of her business…
…Realities that required immediate change if her practice was going to survive into 2011.
(Remember when I said more on this later?)
So, Dee sat down, looked at the numbers, and identified for main metrics she’d need to boost in order to keep her business afloat:
- New patients
- Patient visits
- Overall Production
To get back to being a healthy, profitable practice, Dee discovered she needed more new patients, more visits from existing patients, better collections processes, and more productivity overall.
That would mean putting a more effective billing process in place, installing an employee training program for the first time ever, measuring key metrics on a monthly basis to assess the health of the business, implementing a cancellation policy, and partnering with a collections agency.
Dee and her husband went from 90 visits per week, to more than 300 visits per week in just six years—a 300% increase—and their once abysmal arrival rate is now higher than 95%.
But the MOST important change Dee made to transform her business?
Well, you’ll just have to listen to the episode to find out…
By the way, don’t forget to share your feedback about this episode with me on Twitter @DrJoeSimon with the hashtag #DeeBills
- 04:35 – Dr. Joe introduces Dee Bills, owner of Private Practice Administrative Consulting
- 04:47 – Dr. Joe and Dee met on LinkedIn
- 05:18 – Dee is a physical therapist
- 05:26 – She’s spent roughly 18 years working in private practice
- 05:44 – In 2005, Dee and her husband bought their current practice from the hospital where her husband worked
- 05:57 – 2010 and 2011, they realized if they didn’t make a change, they wouldn’t survive
- 06:07 – They sought consulting and Dee’s husband received training which grew their practice 30% in 6 months
- 06:20 – Dee got into the practice and began to help build their systems of billing
- 06:48 – What Dee realized was that they didn’t really have any systems in place
- 06:52 – There was no staff training or metrics to assess how they were doing
- 07:01 – There were problem at the front desk
- 07:17 – It was Dee who created systems for their practice
- 07:21 – They ran a 95% arrival rate for 3.5 years
- 07:53 – “Most practice owners are technicians of their PT”
- 08:48 – If they didn’t make a change, they probably wouldn’t have survived
- 09:08 – They started at 90 visits per week in 2011
- 09:17 – After their training, they’re now at 300 visits per week
- 09:51 – A clinic owner must understand 4 main metrics a practice continually generates:
- 10:02 – New Patients
- 10:03 – Patient Visits
- 10:05 – Collections
- 10:06 – Overall Production
- 10:53 – As owners start to outsource their collections, they tend to step back
- 11:17 – Collections is one of the most important metrics to follow as it comes down to the money
- 11:43 – A biggest problem that front desk faces is confrontations
- 13:28 – There are 5 things Dee tracks at the front desk:
- 13:36 – Track your arrival rate and improve it
- 14:00 – Have a cancellation policy
- 14:11 – Have procedures in place
- 14:35 – Teach the front desk rep to properly educate the patient on their policies
- 14:42 – “The goal is preventing cancellation”
- 15:00 – Have training for the front desk
- 15:42 – Start tracking your arrival rates!
- 17:31 – Without testing something new, owners won’t realize what they’re doing wrong
- 18:29 – There’s almost no training out there for front desk employees
- 18:40 – The big thing that worked for Dee was using scripts when training their staff
- 19:52 – We don’t have a policy that patients just come in and sign, our staff sit down and explain the policies to them point-by-point
- 20:01 – First benefit to this is that the staff will understand that policy better
- 20:08 – And second, it gives the staff authority and the patients more accountability to follow procedure, especially in regards to cancelling appointments
- 20:56 – Train your staff well before having them handle patients
- 22:20 – “Your front desk is your gatekeeper”
- 23:02 – “Your front desk is just as valuable as your PTs”
- 24:39 – Smaller practices are Dee’s audience
- 25:59 – Dee is just focusing on helping small practices right now
- 27:45 – Connect with Dee on LinkedIn, on her website, or send her an email
- 28:37 – Helping smaller business owners to advance is HUGE for Dee
- 30:30 – Leave us a message at Private Practice Administrative Consulting
- 31:22 – Please leave us a review on iTunes!
3 Key Points:
- Embrace change, adapt to it – it may be the answer to your survival.
- Start using metrics so you KNOW just how well you’re doing and don’t forget to track them!
- Invest time and effort into staff training; teach your staff how to educate your patients on your policies.