The purpose of an administrative support service is to ensure prompt efficient billing, to guarantee prompt payment by the medical aids and private patients and to minimise bad debt.
The question every medical practitioner has to ask him or herself is simply this: If I cannot do it better and cheaper myself, why don’t I let the professionals do it?
Why do so many medical and dental practitioners outsource their PRACTICE administration?
- To obtain greater efficiencies in business management than can be achieved in-house by the business itself.
- To obtain cost efficiencies in access to more qualified and therefore more expensive staff at a fraction of the cost.
- Increase the efficient use of the medical practitioners precious time by allowing him or her to concentrate on their core business which is treating patients!
- Cost and time efficiencies by having no or fewer employees.
- Cost and time efficiencies in outsourcing of IT functions.
- Ensure that effective systems are in place for all levels of management and functions with emphasis on financial control and loss avoidance.
Administrative costs to a medical practice include the following:
An anaesthetists practice can completely avoid these costs while it can be reduced by surgeons as smaller premises may be used. These include office space rental, electricity, security, furniture including desks, filing cabinets and storage space.
Reduced costs of computer hardware and software, fax machines and printers. System support and maintenance to avoid system downtime that could be very expensive.
One of the biggest expenses of a well-functioning practice is staff costs. This includes management time and staff as well as often hidden costs of maternity leave, sick leave and annual leave.
Added to this may be the cost of labour consultants, contracts, CCMA hearings and disciplinary processes as well as the cost of managing the payroll.
The essence of good account management is early and frequent contact with the client until the account is paid. This usually involves regular phone calls, many to cellular phones. If credit controlling is done optimally this may run into thousands of rands. Abuse of practice phones may add to these costs.
Postage and printing:
Each account is printed and sent by mail, sometimes more than once, incurring printing, paper, envelope and stamp costs each time.
Credit card machines attract different commission levels, usually higher for single practitioners. Bad debt recovery costs may be as high as 25%.
MOST IMPORTANT IS THE TIME FACTOR!
It takes a lot of time to manage the administrative side of your practice.
This is time that can be used by the medical professional for other income generating activities, time that can be spent with the family or used for leisure-time activities but most of all time that can be used to focus on the professional's core business: THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.