Top 5 ways to minimize loss of revenue in your practice (Proceedings)


A guideline to minizing revenue loss

     1. Three Tier Reminder System

     2. Travel Sheet and In-Hospital tracking Sheet

     3. Lifestyle Survey or Pre-Exam Checklist

     4. Fee schedule and Charging Standardized Mark-ups

     5. Make the Most Out of Your Practice's Schedule

Three tier reminder system

Helping Hints for Establishing a Three Tiered Reminder System

• Mandate that going forward future reminder history must be entered for all patients (new and existing). Receptionists or healthcare team members that are intimately involved with maintaining patient information must be trained on how to make sure all patients have future reminders.

• If the expiration dates are unknown, the healthcare team must take the following steps to get vaccine history information.

     1. Ask the client for the information (e.g. a previous invoice or records)

     2. Call the previous veterinary hospital with the owner's consent for vaccination information.

     3. If the client does not have any information and has no place for you to call, ask the owner when the vaccines were performed last. According to the information that is provided, enter in a reminder to either prepare for future notification or indicate in your system that the vaccines are past due.

     4. Take this opportunity to verbally inform clients when the next vaccines are due or educate them on the vaccines that are past due and the significance of keeping the pet properly vaccinated.

• Establish which future reminders each species should have entered into the system prior to their file being filed or prior to concluding with the patient's visit or transaction. An example for cats and dogs is listed below:

Canine patients must have at least six future reminders

Annual Comprehensive Physical Examination

     1. Rabies Vaccination

     2. DHLPP Vaccination

     3. Bordetella Vaccination

     4. Annual Fecal Examination

     5. Annual Heartworm Test

     6. Strategic Deworming

Feline patients must have at least five future reminders

     1. Annual Comprehensive Physical Examination

     2. Rabies Vaccination

     3. FVRCP Vaccination

     4. Annual Fecal Examination

     5. Strategic Deworming

• Once you have a sound system in place for the reminders, preparing to send out reminders according to the following schedule will become much easier. For example, if you are preparing to mail out reminders for the month of November (specifically November 1st – November 15th), it is recommended that you follow this schedule.

     o 1st Reminders for 11/1-11/15 – Mail these out two weeks prior to 11/1. (Use a standard veterinary type postcard)

     o 2nd Reminders for 11/1-11/15 – Mail these out four weeks after 11/1. (Use the tri-fold reminder letter)

     o 3rd Reminders for 11/1-11/15 – Mail these out eight weeks after 11/1. (Use the health alert postcard)

• It is recommended that you mail reminders out for each month in increments of two. Meaning that you mail the 1st - 15th and the 16th - 30th separately. Doing so will alleviate a high volume of clients responding at the reminders at the same time. This approach spaces out inquiries to schedule appointments and will not have the practice overwhelmed with vaccination appointments one week and possibly slow for three other weeks.

• Each time you print your reminders, you will receive a report at the time the reminders are generated. If you compare the number of reminders you print with the 1st mailing to the number you print subsequently with the 2nd and 3rd mailing you will be able to track your client compliance rate. Your compliance rate should be somewhere between 80 – 85%. This system will drastically help raise your client's compliance rate.

• You can contact the following companies to order your reminder supplies:

     o 1st Reminders (Postcards) – Medical Arts Press #800-444-3634 or AVLS Petcom

     o 2nd Reminders (Tri-fold Letters) – AVLS Petcom #402-466-4303

     o 3rd Reminders (Health Alert Reminder) – AVLS Petcom #402-466-4303

Implement a travel sheet and in-hospital tracking sheet

Out Patient Services (Travel Sheet)

• Itemized client statement

• Have receptionist circle services requested by client

• Receptionist should be required to review medical record

     o Update preventative procedures

     o Simple and efficient method of record keeping

• Implement use of Travel Sheet

• Veterinarian to highlight through procedures actually rendered and highlight any additional services rendered

• Receptionist to post charges for ALL services rendered

Implement lifestyle surveys or the pre-exam checklist

Standardize mark-ups and conduct a fee schedule comparative analysis

• Standard Mark-up for pharmacy costs

• Standard Mark for laboratory costs

Make the most out of your practice's hours of operation

• Consider staggered lunches

• Consider expanding hours (evening, Saturdays and even Sundays)

• Consider scheduling doctors in surgery and outpatients on different days so that they are more productive

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