Medical Management Associates
Ask-A-Consultant: Staffing and overhead
We have 5 offices (3 are satellites, 1 is a nuclear cardiac center).
I inherited an A/R w. 972,000 in unpaid claims > 180 days old.
A staff of 17, includes a N.T., 7 "nurses" (5-M.A.'s, 2 R.N.s), 3 F.T. front office (reception & check out), 1 P.T. medical records clerk, 4 billing staff and 1 P.T. receptionist for the nuclear center.
When I assessed the problems, it is clear they are grossly understaffed. Patient satisfaction is LOW! Staff morale is LOW! In my opinion these are symptoms of understaffing!!
As to your overhead, we agree that targeting a 20% overhead rate is not realistic, especially considering that the practice has five locations and a gamma camera. An overhead rate in the low twenties may be appropriate for an interventional cardiologist with a limited office practice and few ancillary services, but rates of 30 to 35% or more are more typical for full service cardiology practices. By way of comparison one national survey reports overhead for cardiology practices of 42%. While we don’t suggest that your practice should have a rate this high, the objective should be to maximize net income as opposed to solely concentrating on minimizing the overhead rate.
By increasing your staffing ratios, the
practice will likely see significant improvements in a number of areas.
The additional investment in staff will be returned not only in improved
patient satisfaction and staff morale, but also in additional net income
from improved collections.
Russell B. Still
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