We need to evaluate our offices and make a determination as to who is revenue-producing and who is not
“As a 30-year expert in the field of recruitment, staffing, and sales, I am seeing a dynamic change in the way my clients and our South Florida community on the whole are looking at their employees and hiring practices. Let’s look at the numbers that lead me to say this. In a recent survey done by our medical society, out of 8 choices, team/workflow and employment advice came in last with only 3.5% of respondents reporting that was important compared to billing/documentation and other financial issues.
I find this surprising, because in my opinion, that’s like the captain of a cruise ship being concerned with the destination, the food, and the weather as opposed to concern for the crew in the engine room, the chefs in the kitchen, and the crew members at the helm steering the ship around the storm. How does this happen? It’s quite easy, actually. As leaders it is our responsibility to look to the future to see what events could have an effect on our services, but by doing so our teammates around us become invisible. This issue becomes even more apparent in times of high stress or turmoil such as what COVID-19 has thrust upon the world. What is important to remember in the example above is these crew members keep the engine running, cook the 5-star meals and help navigate the ship, and truly have the biggest impact on financial issues.
So, what can we do to change this in our office? First of all, we need to evaluate our offices and make a clear determination as to who is revenue-producing and who is not, and who may play a combination role toward the goal of revenue production. An example could be your front office person. Is she or he revenue-producing? Maybe not directly, from a 10,000-foot view, however do they help the flow of patients through your office? Do they help with insurance verification? Do they help schedule patients and ensure they are called the day before to decrease no-show patients? If the answer to any of those questions is yes then, yes, they are revenue-producing and those activities should be increased. Likewise, let’s look at your Medical Assistant. Obviously, this position is a revenue-producing position and each time they room a patient, take vitals, assist the physician and have other patient interactions they become part of that visit bill and therefore are revenue-producing. What about when they are filling out lab slips, contacting pharmacies, cleaning out the Doctor’s voicemail and other tertiary duties? In those cases, they are no longer revenue-producing and those duties should be passed to the lowest paid non-revenue-producing person in the office. By eliminating the busy work of a revenue-producing person you will make them more profitable, and that increased income certainly outweighs the cost of your other employee.
How does this translate into your hiring practices? Prior to COVID-19, if your office manager, who may be the most important player when it comes to revenue production in your office, ran an ad for an open position they would probably receive upward of one hundred resumes. Today, with unemployment above 12%, they will receive five hundred resumes. That translates into almost 16 hours before the first in-person interview takes place (average 2 minutes per resume = 1000 minutes / 60). Then add another 10 – 15 hours for interviews and paperwork before an offer is made and that is if you only run one ad for one week. The question you need to ask is how much revenue did my office manager not produce to fill the lowest paid position in my office? I know the numbers and it is far less than you would spend by using an agency to assist you.” John Dalton, Owner Optimum RTS, West Palm Beach, Florida..