This Zoomcast took place on Wednesday afternoon of August 25th. You can access the full video on-demand in our Zoomcast Vault.
One of the new features we’ve added in MEG Academy is the Masterminds Slack Community for our private practice owners.
Slack is an internal communications system that we use at MEG to keep our remote employees and coworkers connected and informed. It’s intuitive and has worked so well for us, that we’ve adapted it for use for our PT owners from all corners of the country!
Nicole Walczak, our Chief Development Officer as well as host of these great Zoomcasts, walks the audience through each channel – giving a quick demo of the purpose and use of the channels, which are arranged by topic.
This platform allows multiple members of our management team to give their perspectives, responses and insight on any questions the practice owners post.
Now, when you join MEG Academy, you’re not just getting access to our robust virtual training service, but also joining a thriving and engaged online community of owners like you, who may be going through similar challenges.
This ensures that our practice owners are getting the latest cutting-edge information, around the clock. Slack is available 24/7 – much like a social media platform.
For this Zoomcast, Nicole is joined on the panel with Ali Ferrara, our Billing Manager, and Founder & President Brian Gallagher, PT. She kicks it off with the top FAQs from owners around the country for the benefit of our audience. Let’s start with the CEO & Executive focused questions:
CEO Question #1:
“As I am working my way through the Business Strategic Plan, I have goals for GI and Net, and a host of other things, however I am a bit unsure of what my Collections targets should be based on my GI goals, patient visit goals, etc. Is there a nice, neat formula or way to know that if your GI goal is $X, your Collections should be $Y?”
Brian’s answer: Look at last year’s GI (gross income). You want to have 15% growth, so multiply that and you’ll find what the collections need to be annually to meet that increase. Now divide that by collections per visit and you’ll know how many visits you need! It might help with the growth to add another income vertical service to your clinic. Think with the big picture.
Ali adds: It depends on your fee schedule. In terms of a collections ratio, we always aim for something between 40-50%. If it’s above or below this, you might have to adjust as necessary.
CEO Question #2:
“Can you please remind us about the formula used to calculate how much money we should keep in reserve? Is it a percentage or a multiple of payroll?”
In answer to this, Brian suggests that first, you want to make enough money to set aside one month’s worth of operating expenses. From there, decide on a minimum of 1%, max of 3% GI that goes into the reserves account every week.
Scaling & Expansion Question #1:
“I am interested in discussing incentive structure for clinic directors. We have been fortunate to hire and groom talented therapists in preparation for expansion, but need to fully determine what the appropriate compensation package looks like to keep them engaged and committed to our company goals. What percentage of ownership is industry standard, what does that ‘buy in’ look like?”
Nicole takes this one: As a former Clinical Director, she suggests that you look at what is the responsibility and purpose of a CD? From there, she recommends bonusing them off of the success of their juniors, and making sure that they are hitting their numbers. Our standard that we recommend for productivity in the clinic is 85% efficiency.
Of course, you have to determine what numbers make sense for your individual practice. It’s just a matter of running the numbers (we can help you with that!)
Brian then reminds viewers that he does not recommend partnerships in private practice, and that having a value point bonus system in place is brilliant.
Consider the Pay-for-performance Model as your practice structure, which enables this exact approach. (Feel free to contact us to talk through any details.)
Scaling & Expansion Question #2:
“I am currently trying to expand services in another niche area. Any suggestions on how to obtain a provider contract for nursing homes?”
Brian has the audience reevaluate their purpose in private practice, and whether they want to “play other people’s games.” If this is your game, sit down with the nursing home and establish a staffing contract with them. You must make $20 per hour over cost.
Recruiting & Hiring Question #1:
“We are hiring a new Physical Therapist and posted the position on LinkedIn already. What other platforms have you all had success with?”
This is a hot one for people who are actively recruiting, especially now, as there is a shortage of therapists available. But the team shares their successful actions…
Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter, APTA state chapter sites, different college bulletin boards? All good options! Reach in to us for an example of a well-written ad.
Recruiting & Hiring Question #2:
“With a tight labor market we are seeing a need to go above our wage band for our front office staff position. What is the best practice for wage adjustment, if any, for current staff?”
Thankfully, as the market continues to get better in terms of the workforce, Brian doesn’t recommend throwing in heavy cash and huge bonuses as the answer. With that said, a mild bump-up isn’t a bad idea – the best people want to get up and work! Throwing money around makes you look desperate.
Nicole again reminds the audience to consider the Pay-for-performance model! You should be able to reward people who go above and beyond. Bring people onboard who have a Go-getter attitude.
Billing & Collections Question #1:
“I am curious about the ethics of charging an office co-pay based on patient’s insurance to bring the visit collection to a standard amount across the board. For example, if I decide $88 and Cigna reimburses a flat rate of $73, could I charge $15 copay/visit? And if another carrier reimburses $78, it would then be a $10 copay/visit? Is that allowed?”
Ali takes the lead on this one: If you are contracted with that insurance contract, that is not allowed. You must charge exactly what’s on the EOB. If you are out-of-network though and don’t have a contract, there are avenues for this. It’s allowed, as long as you keep it standard for all patients.
Billing & Collections Question #2:
“We are running into several Medicare denials due to active home health episodes. We provide contract home health services and outpatient services so patients transition frequently to us. We obtain a discharge date from the home health care company but still are having denials. Any thoughts or processes that are successful for you guys?”
This is a tough one, but Ali can handle it: You want to check the dates against each other before the patient is seen. You can log into your portal and check the patient’s record to make sure the dates don’t overlap. If it does, and the dates don’t match Medicare, you can follow up with them to update that information.
Remember, it all starts with an effective front desk – this is the lifeline of the clinic, and a job well done here is especially crucial for the Billing department. Ensure that you have a strong and well-functioning front desk system.
The Compliance community is a newer opportunity in our Masterminds Slack that you get exclusive access to if you purchase our Compliance Program. Our Compliance expert monitors this space and provides new information and updates as they come.
They end the Zoom with a recent, very relevant incident reporting Compliance question (with two examples to help illustrate), followed by an insightful response from Daniel Hirsch, DPT. This established when one might use an incident report, versus when you would just document in the notes.
Basically, having a Compliance Officer to guide and protect you along the way is gold.
This was our in-depth look into just one facet of our coaching support for our MEG Academy private practice owners. Parting pieces of advice? Stay positive. Your patients are looking to you for guidance, so deliver the level of care they deserve by running the best private practice you possibly can.
Outsource your Billing, Credentialing and Compliance to ensure experts are always on the case and your focus is always on the patient and business. Implement an internal communications system in your practice (whether it’s Slack or something else) – communication is key!