AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 13

Your practice-in both clinical and
business dimensions-is the most
important "patient" you care for.
Learning to ask the right questions every
day will improve your organization's
treatment plan and prognosis.
patient waiting time might
reduce new patient referrals.
8. How can we improve patient
care quality without adversely impacting profitability?
"Quality" is not just clinical
outcomes, but patient perceptions. For example, handing every patient an inexpensive fact
sheet describing their diagnosis
and your treatment approaches
saves some of the cost of having staff educate each patient,
and could improve patient
compliance.
9. When will we post charges,
submit claims, and receive
payment for the services we're
providing to patients today?
Too often, administrators
concentrate on the over-90-day
account column of the aging
report when the real problem
happens far earlier in the revenue cycle. Ask front-line staff
about time lags from service to
posting to submission.
10. How many hours do staff
work every day, and how
many hours are they paid for?
Practices, as they grow, can
carry forward informal and
sometimes even overly permissive work habits and wage-andhour policies. This costs the
practice real dollars, and worse,

leads to lower morale among
non-abusers.
11. Could we have seen more
patients in the clinic today
or performed more surgeries?
Most surgeons end their work
day with a cushion of unsold
time "inventory." It may not
bother your providers. But just
three missed exams a day in a
typical solo practice can trim
$100,000 or more from annual
practice profits.
12. If we ended the day providing
less care-doing less work-
than was possible, what could
we do to improve? Giving
your practice a five-figure
or larger annual profit boost
could be as simple as adding
one or two slots to the appointment template.
13. If we saw all the patients or
performed all the cases we
think we were capable of,
what's holding us back from
doing more? If growth is a
goal, look for opportunities to
increase everyone's productivity, perhaps through back-office technology, increased tech
training, or increased physician delegation of care to optometrists. Not every doctor
measures success in dollars,
though, so know who prefers

more patients and who prefers
helping with clinic efficiency
so they get extra time to spend
with family.
14. Are we extracting a full
measure of value from every
staff resource? Look down the
clinic hallway. Are techs just
standing around waiting for
a doctor, or are they adding
value by calling patients whose
treatment questions went to
voicemail? Look at the front
desk. Are receptionists waiting
for the next patient, or are they
calling for authorizations?
15. Are we extracting full value
from every other resource in
the practice? Today, all possible
offices should be open fulltime. An increasing number of
practices are adding evening
and weekend hours to extract
a full measure of value from
fixed asset costs.
16. Are we in all the right businesses? Have we gone too far
in turning a cataract practice
into a Lasik practice, now that
refractive surgery volumes are
stagnant or falling in most
markets? Have we considered
ourselves a surgical practice
only, and missed primary care
and optical dispensing opportunities? AE
John B. Pinto (619-2232233; pintoinc@aol.com)
is president of J. Pinto &
Associates Inc., an
ophthalmic practice
management consulting firm
established in 1979, with offices in
San Diego, Calif. His book Simple:
The Inner Game of Ophthalmic
Practice Success is available from the
ASOA Bookstore.

www.asoa.org // AE

13


http://www.asoa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4

AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover1
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover2
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 1
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 2
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 3
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 4
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 5
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AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 8
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 9
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AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 11
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 12
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 13
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 14
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AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 19
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 20
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AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - 27
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AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover3
AE July/August 2018 Vol 27 No 4 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ae_septoct19
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g107843_ae_julyaug19
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g105962_ae_mayjun19
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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g86698_ae_novdec17
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g81746_ae_septoct17
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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g77256_ae_mayjun17
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g74401_ae_marapr17
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g72340_ae_janfeb17
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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_mayjune2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_marapr2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_janfeb15
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_novdec14
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_sepoct14_AE
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_julaug14
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_MayJunAE
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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_fall_2013
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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa/asoa_summer_2013
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ehr_cust_survey_Apr2013
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