With the onset of COVID-19, all industry sectors have been dealing with a multitude of issues. In the health care sector, practices have not only been faced with employee retention issues, but also practice management issues which will be discussed below.
Challenges and solutions
In looking at the top challenges that medical practices face, the most difficult challenge for practices is usually not related to the medicine itself, but rather, the administration of the practice. Most doctors go into medicine because they want to help people and are interested in science and medicine. They usually do not take into account the administrative time of filling out forms or figuring out how to make a profit.
Although administrative burdens are not likely to go away, there are some potential solutions. These include staying current with business trends and creating standard operational procedures and routines. You can hire staff to take on the administrative piece of the practice so you can focus more on the practice itself or you can hire a business administrator to perform the heavy lifting while you still make all of the final decisions.
The decision of whether to opt for maintaining an independent practice versus joining a health care system is another significant challenge many physicians face. Currently, there is a trend toward consolidation into larger group practices, thus enabling physicians to leverage size without having to work for hospitals. This option also allows physicians to share resources — which can go a long way toward relieving the administrative burdens.
Billing is also a constant administrative hurdle. Hiring staff that is competent on the billing cycle can help you boost profitability and take busy work from an administrative standpoint to free you up even more.
Related Read: Should You Outsource Your Billing?
Whether it is a new opportunity, a new geographic location or general unhappiness, employee turnover is inevitable. The key is keeping as much of your highly-skilled staff as possible. Studies indicate that high pay and benefits are not the only reasons people stay in a job (though to be fair, they will generally appreciate those things).
A key to staff retention is often related to letting staff voice their opinion and be part of your ever-evolving practice. Rewards for good results can be both creative and meaningful and do not necessarily have to be an increase in pay. Ideas to consider include additional paid time off, gift cards and flexible schedules. Showing appreciation to staff for their efforts can go a long way, too.
Related Read: Six Ways to Motivate Your Employees
Finally, a top headache is liability. Some states and specialties are hit particularly hard by liability insurance. Sometimes this issue drives physicians out of private practice into health care systems — because those systems typically pick up the tab for liability insurance. The best solution is to always take the caution approach.
Evolve as you go
Stay on top of changes in the industry and make adjustments to your process and controls when necessary. A well-managed practice can free you to offer the best possible medical care to your patients.
For more information, contact Kevin Omahen at [email protected] or 312.670.7444. Visit ORBA.com to learn more about our Health Care Group.