Consistent with the thinking that activities that get scheduled get done, I recommend a checklist of practice performance goals and measures to which you refer at least monthly. This checklist ought to reflect what you think are the most important aspects of achieving superior financial performance in your practice. Here are a few suggestions:
- Review your financial statements every month, and identify trends in collections and expenses with an eye towards increasing the former and minimizing the latter.
- Compare your financial performance to industry averages. How are we doing compared to everybody else?
- Compare yourself to yourself. What does this mean? Identify an ideal month in your practice and compare your financial performance to that standard.
- Set a minimum cash target that your practice will always retain – one month of overhead is a reasonable expectation.
- If you have open-ended debt terms – such as credit cards and bank lines of credit – make a plan for repaying that debt within a specified period of time and track your progress monthly.
- Prepare a multi-year capital expenditures budget so that you aren’t making office and equipment upgrades and replacements all in one year.
- Identify 2-3 keys to success – for example, minimizing no shows, quicker collections, improved case acceptance, and more referrals from current patients. Make a plan for improving these areas and measure your progress monthly…or even more frequently if it makes sense. Keep it fun!