Making Your Metrics Matter
The Secret to Scaling Your Private Practice Through Data Analytics
Why do metrics matter?
How many of you are tired of working on 10% margins? You have to unlock metrics in order to negotiate your payer contracts. What if I told you that I took metrics and I use them for my advantage.
From a data analytic standpoint, I was able to make a negotiation with United healthcare work, where I got $35 more per visit, simply for showing them how I was able to track my metrics and ultimately saving them money by utilizing metrics to prove my point.
So what are the biggest problems many of us face today in healthcare? You tell me if I’m wrong, but these are the complaints that I see day in and day out.
- Insurance payment,
- employee retention,
- employee recruitment,
- continuity of care,
- quality outcomes,
- patient valuing services
A Metric For Measuring Accountability
So my question is all these things that you’re looking at, are they problems or are they the effect? I’m going to say that again. These things that we’re looking at. Are they problems, or are they the effect?
I categorize them as the effect. If you solve the problem, you’ll fix the effect. Insurance payment is an effect. If they’re not seeing our value, you’re not negotiating correctly. You don’t have the tangible data analytics for them to buy into what it’s worth. I want to help you solve the problem.
I have one word that I see resolving many of these complaints, and that’s accountability. If we hold insurance more accountable, the money will come in. If we hold our staff more accountable, productivity goes up. If we hold ourselves more accountable, we’re more successful and more productive. Accountability is one of the critical ingredients for success.
Metrics hold us accountable. Bottom line!
Now I don’t want you to forget we’re in the people business. I’m not telling you to get so stuck in your numbers that you forget about the people business. What I want you to do, for me, is I want you to find the story in the metrics, and I want you to communicate it where people can relate; and I’ll show you how, but at the end of the day, metrics, storytelling, they go hand in hand together, and I promise you accountability and buy-in will come from that.
Accountability occurs when you have all of the following, working in your favor.
Clear Work policies and procedures
How many of you have clear policies and procedures?
Yesterday I had a client that sent me their employee handbook, and they said, will you review this.
I told them it’s excellent as a compliance factor, but for accountability, it sucks. Excuse my French. The problem is that a handbook won’t solve accountability.
Handbooks are often created around compliance.
- What do we do to make it more accountable?
- How have we flagged the policies and the procedures that people need to know?
- How are we integrating training and accountability, and measuring that policies are being understood and implemented?
You need metrics that illustrate alignment and synergize with policies and procedures.
So, are you measuring your Business Performance metrics each month?
Back in the day, one of my companies, we were home health and all of our full-time therapists, for the therapy side of the home health agency, we’re held to a standard of 30 billable treatment visits, patient visits, being delivered a week.
That was the standard back in the day.
I did not set this standard. The person was nuts. And I remember saying:
- where did you come up with this metric?
- Where was this number identified?
And the person said to me, well, Brandon, that’s what they need to do so that we can afford to pay their salary.
And I said, yeah, but is it attainable?
They said, well, it’s attainable.
I said, well, what makes you think it’s attainable?
Someone has accomplished it, is what this person said to me.
I asked how many?
I don’t know.
I said, look it up.
Out of 350 clinicians, you tell me how many people consistently (not like they hit it once in a blue moon) week in and week out for six weeks in a row have hit 30 billable visits delivered.
The answer was zero. The answer was literally zero.
The problem was that they built a metric based on trying to justify the payment to stay competitive in the workforce. It was the wrong metric.
Management Needs to Understand their Optimal financial algorithm
Last night I spent literally like 10 hours working for a client on all of their algorithms, all of their financial algorithms of how we measure productivity, incentivize the people, and create earning potential 20% beyond their greatest hopes.
And I found the algorithm, but it took a lot of work because it took variables in terms of quality and the quantity of visits. I surveyed all the employees before it built the algorithm and I had to take into account:
- Where was their motor?
- What payer sources made sense, et cetera.
But guess what? I found the algorithm. And once I discovered that algorithm, I then created a communication that I knew the employees would get excited by. And I showed my client, and they were blown away.
the bottom line: Use metrics to create an algorithm that's attainable
- I came up with a metric that mattered
- Was realistic to achieve.
- And that had optimum results, not just for the practice, but the employee.
- And then, we create policies and procedures.
I always say, look for 90% adoption rate. If you can get 90% of people to adopt and follow that policy, I can get the other 10% on board, or they’re expendable.
Employee Communication is always the starting point.
So at the end of the day, I want you to look for accountability and intrinsic motivation, shared reality, and communication. You’d be shocked how many of the practices I work with just don’t know how to communicate effectively.
I recently did what I call an employee audit, and I audited a client’s employees in terms of what’s working, not working. The number one variable that comes up in all of the clients that I work with is communication. Communication is always the starting point.
Have you evaluated your communication recently?
I challenge you to survey your team on a scale of one to five, how effective your communication is, the quantity of your communication, and your communication efficiency. All those things are essential. Not what we say, but how we say it makes the most impact.
When I was interviewing a client the other day, I was very clear to look at what is the opportunity for improvement, versus the invalidation for improvement. Don’t invalidate. Empower!
And so we have to set boundaries. We have to set boundaries that employees buy into and that they believe in. And we ultimately have to have consequences.
The People Business
Guess what? We’re in the people business. Relationships matter. Pick and choose who and how you hold them accountable, but relationships matter. So I pick and choose who I get into a relationship with.
I hire slow and fire fast. Bottom line!
So it’s imperative to look at this idea of problem-solving. How do we identify the problem? I want you to brainstorm solutions, and I want you to test and measure work retention. That’s an effect.
What’s the problem?
- My hiring stinks.
- My compensation stinks.
Have you looked at the cause of why compensation is so bad? I have lousy payer contracts, or I’m doing 30-minute visits or whatever.
Get to the root cause. Then find a realistic solution and test and measure it.
What are metrics and why are they important to your business?
Now I am not a Baker. My wife’s an incredible cook, but her baking is not great. Why? Because she can’t follow a recipe. She throws a little bit of sugar and honey and this and that. And all of a sudden, she makes what I call a smorgasbord. Baking is all about the recipe. It is an algorithm. If I put three pinches of this and six pinches of that and one cup of this and two tablespoons of this, whew, guess what?
Private Practice is an algorithm too. It’s a matter of identifying all of the key ingredients in your metrics to make your practice not just successful, but scalable.
- What is my patient census ingredient?
- What are the demographics?
- What are the diagnostics?
- What size clinic
- What size patient population do I need to work with?
All these things are part of the Metric algorithm. Have you conquered YOUR Metric algorithm yet?
I challenge you to take 30 minutes with me, and I will unlock one new strategy in your metric algorithm.
So the benefits of utilizing metrics are they become a roadmap. They track your journey. They illustrate a storyline. They create a grounding force of accountability.
Remember, we’re only as good as our accountability, executive function skills.
How are we implementing metrics and accountability in Your Business?
When we implement metrics effectively, it can be a tool for empowerment and measure your goal progress in real-time. We can also use metrics to contribute to efficiency. One of my favorite electronic medical record systems has a custom KPI dashboard that tracks efficiency.
- How long did it take for me to write my note?
- How long did it take for me to do ABC?
When I challenged people to track their efficiency, you would be amazed at the success we have. Metrics provide a guiding light to identify the right actions and separate the wrong actions in strategic planning.
How analytics Can impact your Business
We look at analytics from a financial analysis standpoint, patient satisfaction, provider performance, labor utilization, population, health management, and quality scores and outcomes. So I’m going to give you three quick tips for your analytics right now. And I will have more webinars for you to watch on all different data analytics in our membership portal.
So the first thing is cashflow is King. If you’re not collecting 60% of your revenue within 30 days of your service date, you’re going to go out of business. Bottom line! I challenge you tomorrow to measure it. 60%, not from when you billed, but from when you delivered the service. So that’s the first thing.
The second thing is I want you to track your net promoter score. If you’re not tracking your net promoter score, you’re missing out. How are you transcending your patient experience and utilizing your net promoter score as a guiding light?
The third thing I’m going to say labor utilization. Don’t just look at cancellations. Look at how many, what’s the percentage of labor utilization. What’s the percentage did you leave on the table? Don’t leave money on the table. How are you optimizing your labor utilization? I want you to schedule 120% of the productivity level to optimize your productivity standard. Sometimes it’s in visits. Sometimes it’s in hours.
There are so many different ways to measure.
Set up a free 30-minute strategy session
Set up a free 30-minute strategy session. We’ll break it down in 30 minutes or less. So the takeaways from this talk, metrics matter, are metrics are how we know where we are and where we need to go.
And often, they help us strategically with identifying why something is not working. The first thing I want you to do is to show me your metrics. I’ll find the storyline in your metrics. I promise you.
So I want to leave you with the secret to success; Identifying the algorithm for your private practice and reproducing it. Metrics will help us identify your algorithm today.
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President, Wellness Works Management Partners
Brandon Seigel brings more than fifteen years of executive leadership experience, supporting organizations of all sizes. Seigel manages over 1,000 employees in multiple private practices and has paved the way for new workforce empowerment initiatives throughout the world.