Don’t Make These Cost-Cutting Mistakes in Your Healthcare Practice


We constantly urge our medical and healthcare clients to examine their every day practices in order to cut their costs while improving patient care. The 2 outcomes are not odds with each other. One simply needs to resist the urge to look solely at the line item expenses on the P&L and examine the efficiencies and mix of resources that impact patient care as well the bottom line.

Avoid these cost-cutting mistakes:
  1. Pushing your physician and clinician providers to spend less time with each patient and on treatment processes that are poorly reimbursed – the patients and their outcomes will suffer which may also have a financial impact on your practice. Establishing productivity targets that limit office visits to fixed time periods, such as 15 minutes or a half hour are actually counterproductive according to Harvard studies: for example, more communication when it comes to chronic conditions actually lowers costs and cuts readmits.
  2. Cutting administrative staff to the bone – without the proper support they need, the clinical staff may be less productive. So before you cut the payroll, remember that the work of clinical staff is directly reimbursable, don’t have them bogged down in paperwork and unavailable to see patients.
  3. Not hiring a PA or NP - effectively integrating more Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants into patients’ care frees up senior clinicians to work “at the top of their license,” performing tasks that only they can perform. The right equation and assignment of duties leads to higher-quality care at a much lower cost per patient. It no longer makes sense to have physicians performing tasks that could be done just as well by less expensive personnel.
  4. Not investing in equipment – underinvesting in technology, resources, and the latest equipment actually lowers the productivity of your most expensive resource: your staff. Spending on the right equipment can improve patient diagnosis, care and reduce overall costs in the end.
  5. Focusing too narrowly on negotiating price and failing to examine how individual clinicians and staff actually consume supplies. Always try to lower the costs of purchased items by negotiating higher discounts from suppliers, but do not miss potential opportunities to lower spending by examining process and procedure, as well as procurement and prices.
  6. Not involving your clinicians and staff in the discussion and decisions about where and how to save - clinicians and practice administrators need to understand the costs incurred over a full cycle of care. Then they can work together to deliver better patient outcomes with an overall lower-cost mix of personnel, supplies, and equipment.
  7. Not taking the time to standardize – inconsistency and variation in clinical practices can impact the costs associated with treatment protocols. There are financial benefits that come from standardization, and best practice guidelines.
CONTACT US: Don’t give yourself a margin-versus-mission migraine!  The smartest way to reduce costs is to start with an in-depth analysis of the process in treating each medical condition, examining the cost/revenue per patient as well as per staff, and then properly budgeting for maximizing cash flow. The goal for healthcare and medical practices should be to improve efficiency and lower costs while delivering exceptional care. We can help you in the search for process improvements and lower costs so you can reach your financial goals faster. Call for a consultation with one of our healthcare CPAs today: 855-534-2727.


 

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