Turn a 40 Hour Week Into 30 and Stay Profitable

Do you ever get to the end of the day and realize that you didn’t get half of the things done that you intended to get done?

Do you find yourself giving endless streams of orders and then having to spend time following up to make sure everything was really done?

Do you often have to redo work because it was not done correctly the first time by someone else?
Is scheduling a problem?

Managing time in a healthcare practice is an art. Unique problems arise because, as the doctor, your main priority is treating patients. But, how are you supposed to keep your full attention on patients and at the same time stay on top of the crucial administrative work that is paramount to maintaining a thriving practice? The essence of successful time management is the attainment of a level of organization which facilitates the goal of a healthcare practice, a high quantity of well and happy patients.

Simply stated, how well you organize determines how many hours you work and how productive you are during those hours.

If you are having difficulty managing your time, the first action you should take is to keep a time log during a typical work week. While this may be arduous at first glance, you will find it well worth the time and energy you put into it. Carry a small notebook with you throughout the day and log everything you do along with the amount of time you spent doing each. This is best done by logging the events as they happen and avoid trying to reconstruct the information at a later point in time.

At the end of the week, you will be able to look over the information and tabulate how much time was spent on the various activities you engaged in. This exact record will help you isolate areas of the practice that are not being competently handled by your employees and/or are problematic to the point of requiring much of your attention.

The next action you should take is to have each one of your employees keep their own time log, just as you did yours. At the end of the week, you can gather the logs and review the activity of each staff member.

Read part II of this article and find out the key questions you should be asking yourself when you have completed your log. Request “Turn A 40 Hour Week Into 30 and Stay Profitable – Part II” (highly recommended). Scroll to top

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Presenting Treatment Plans – The Do’s and Don’ts

Are you advocating for the patient’s health or his wallet?

How should a treatment plan be presented?

What can a doctor and staff do to ensure a high acceptance rate?

What does all this have to do with sales?

These questions, left unanswered, could potentially cost a practice untold sums, quality of care can suffer, new and repeat business can drop off, office morale can be low and practicing can lose it’s entire purpose if patients are not receiving the care that they need.

Confusion About “Sales” Will Cost Practices a Fortune.

A sale is simply an exchange where all parties involved receive something of value. In healthcare professions, a patient receives care to fix a health problem and/or maintain good health. In exchange for the work done, the staff and doctor are paid.

A successful practice includes doctors and staff who care enough to sell patients exactly what they need. Each doctor is key in the sales cycle because without the doctor diagnosing and planning treatment for the correct care, there would be nothing to sell.

Most confusions stem from the false ideas that people have about sales. High-pressure techniques used by some people can leave a bad impression and make patients/clients want to shy away from buying at all. These techniques are not true sales techniques. In fact, using them can set a doctor up for failure. So to does going out of your way to avoid using any sales techniques at all.

Convincing vs. Selling

Convincing a person that they need to buy something is a different activity than selling them on an idea, service or product. Selling is really nothing more than obtaining agreement. A patient who understands the treatment needed and agrees that it needs to be done — and they are going to do it — is a result of a successful treatment plan presentation. In an attempt to convince a patient to accept a plan, a doctor often talks too much, which in most cases works against him. Good communication, then, becomes a key factor. A doctor using communication skills that serve to enlighten and educate will bring a patient to a point of understanding and agreement.

The Patient vs. The Wallet

Doctors can become so worried about whether or not the patient is going to consider a plan too expensive that they actually neglect giving the patient the true treatment plan. We have not met a doctor who does not consider him/herself a good technician. Yet, when it comes to passing treatment information along to a patient, a doctor can get in a habit of making the presentation more palatable by reducing the plan. Concerns about what the patient might think can get in the way. The wallet, then, becomes the center of attention rather than the exact treatment that the patient needs. Doctors do know what patients need, and this should be clearly expressed to the patient or the likelihood of primarily doing “patch-up” work will enter into the practice.

Plan A or Plan B or Plan C?

The doctor may give the patient too many choices. The patient is not a physician and, therefore, does not know what’s best for him. Patients rely on the doctor to tell them what they need. If the doctor doesn’t do that but gives them a choice between Plan A, Plan B or Plan C, the patient will naturally ask the cost of the different plans and select the least expensive one. Asking a patient to make a choice between a $600 plan, a $350 plan and a $195 plan will cause suspicion. One of the most common misconceptions about doctors is that they’re all rich. A patient may wonder why you would do a $600 plan if a $195 plan will suffice.

Read Part II of this article to see how “Maybe vs. You Need,” “Hesitancy vs. Help,” “Integrity” and much more, coincides with presenting the best treatment plan.” Request “Presenting Treatment Plans: The Do’s and Don’ts – Part II” (highly recommended) Scroll to top

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The Basics on Bonus Plans
Getting Staff to Produce the Quantity you Need and Want

It is very wise to have a bonus plan for staff in operation in your office. If you reward staff for increasing their production and the production of the practice, they will naturally want to continue to do that, and the whole staff will tend to operate much more as a team.

In structuring a bonus plan, the simpler you can make it for yourself and your staff, the better. Bear in mind that you want the staff working as a team and that there are several areas of concern. Consider the following:

The best bonus plans are ones that get the entire staff working together towards increased viability for the whole practice, while rewarding their own increased production. A plan that gives staff bonuses when the practice is not viable is a loser for the doctor/owner. At the same time, not providing bonuses to staff for their increased production when the practice is getting more and more viable provides no incentive or reward for the staff and will lead to a less cohesive and productive group. So, you have to put together a system that takes into account the major statistics of the practice, the viability of the practice, and the individual production of the staff members.

Certainly, you want higher production statistics, but if you pay bonuses only on increased production, you could be painting yourself into a corner if the collections do not keep up with the production. You could be paying bonuses out of your own pocket!

At the same time, generally, only one person is handling collections. But even so, a team effort can come into play in this area. Staff members who do not formally have anything to do with collections can still be of assistance by not overburdening the person in charge of collections with other matters. The staff can offer to help out with getting statements out. If appropriate, the staff can offer to perform other helpful functions (as time allows) so that the person in charge of collections can handle financial matters. All staff should be cognizant of relaying important financial related information to the accounts manager if they become aware of a situation that could affect the financial area. Additionally, the better service a patient/client receives, the easier it is to collect payment. All staff can contribute to collections by doing their own jobs well.

If the staff is focused only on production statistics, they may not focus an appropriate amount of attention on promoting new patients/clients in the practice. New patients/clients coming into the practice is one of the prime factors involved in your being able to generate more production and collections. The new patient/client area ties in closely with the growth and viability of the practice. All staff can be responsible for the inflow of new patients/clients into the practice by their own promotion from their job area, as well as outside of the practice.

The point becomes self-evident. The staff must be focused on all of the above and working as a team to keep all of those statistics going up. The practice will grow, and they will be rewarded for their contribution to that growth. At the same time, the practice’s viability must be looked at.

The following is a very simple and effective bonus plan suggestion:

  1. For starters you must confront the viability status of the practice. Determine what the break even point of the practice is – what it honestly costs to operate. Don’t forget reserves too! It is advisable to confer with a consultant on this as he/she will be able to help you determine whether or not you have considered all factors. As you are determining this figure, take into consideration the fact that the practice does have variable expenses, so you will want to average those figures in. Work them in on the high side to ensure that you’re not cutting yourself short.
  2. Once you have determined what the baseline viability figure of the practice is, you will know exactly how much you must bring into the practice to keep the doors open and operate in a solvent fashion. Remember, it is better to figure high than to cut yourself short. You now know that anything above that figure can be used for giving bonuses to the staff.
  3. You would now take a percentage of the amount that is above and beyond this figure to be used as a staff bonus fund. This could be anywhere from 15% – 20%. Of that percentage, you would figure what percentage each staff member would be paid as a bonus. This could be based upon seniority of position (the office manager would probably be bonused more than the receptionist), years of service, etc. Each individual staff member would be eligible for their share of the bonus amount based upon whether they have met their own individual production quotas. In this way, the staff are being rewarded for helping to make the practice solvent and viable and for their own production that contributed to the solvency level of the practice.

SAMPLE: Cost of operation is $20,000. Production target is set at $24,000. Collection target is $22,000. A New Patient/Client target would also be set to keep staff focused on all three areas. If all three targets are met, the staff bonus plan operates for the month.

Let us say that the Production target is met, the collections are at $22,000 and the New Patient/Client target is met. The staff would then qualify for their bonuses.

You would take the amount collected over the baseline viability figure which in this case is $2000. Let’s say that you are putting 20% into the bonus plan which, in this case, would be $400. Let’s also say that you have four full-time staff, and you work out that the office manager gets 30% and each other staff member gets 23.3% if they made their own production targets. So, the office manager would get a $120.00 bonus, and the rest of the staff would get a $93.20 bonus. That is a very nice incentive for the staff and allows the owner to get a nice bonus as well.

It is suggested that the percentage amount that goes to bonuses be based upon the present viability of the practice. If you are just starting this and don’t have much in reserves and are just covering your bills, you would put a smaller percentage toward the bonuses and use the rest to pay off bills and build reserves. As you build more reserves and get debts paid off, you become more and more viable and can thus afford to put a higher percentage toward the staff bonuses.

The effectiveness of this bonus plan lies in the fact that each staff member knows that they need to reach established targets to qualify for bonuses. They also know that the more they produce, the more bonuses they will get and that nobody wins unless they and the practice all win. Thus they will want to push the statistics up and the practice will expand due to the focus and teamwork of the staff. Everybody wins!

We are now offering a no cost, no obligation 1 hour phone consultation for practice owners that have questions about private practice bonuses systems. Schedule a 1 hour complimentary call with one of our research experts now!