“How are you doing?”
On a personal level, that question seems easy enough to answer. But when it comes to your practice, it’s not so simple. With so many factors in play — from patient visits to billing, from revenue to workflow — it can be a challenge to have everything go smoothly at the same time. Not only that, but it’s difficult to determine a proper standard by which to judge your practice performance.
Ultimately, your bottom line depends on multiple Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that together paint a picture of your business. A quick comparison of your KPIs to industry standards may also point to potential opportunities to increase cash flow, identify areas for potential growth, and even improve employee morale.
One of the first KPIs to consider is Average Visit Duration. This is not merely the amount of time you spend with a patient, but also includes the time that you spend on billing, documentation, scheduling and other “overhead” related to that patient’s visit. For physical therapists, many of whom spend a good deal of time with each patient, the Average Visit Duration highlights — once you subtract the time that’s actually spent on patient care — how much is wasted on the “busywork” of running a practice.
Another KPI that’s a key concern is Annual Patient Visits (APV). This figure is derived by dividing the number of patient visits in a given year by the total number of patients seen during that year. An APV that is substantially lower than the industry average suggests that too many patients may be terminating their treatment before they complete it — and that could be seen as a compliance risk.
On the subject of revenue, it’s a good idea to look at your Pay Per Visit (PPV). The PPV is the average pay for all of your services that you receive for one visit — including both the patient’s copay and the insurance reimbursement. In order to calculate your average PPV, just count all the payments you received over the course of one month, and divide it by the number of patient visits you had in that month. When comparing your PPV to the industry average, a lower number indicates that you are likely not getting fair reimbursement from insurance companies.
And finally, if you take your APV and multiply it by your PPV, you get the PV, or Patient Value. This amount reflects the total payment for a single patient over the course of a year. In and of itself, a low PV doesn’t present an audit risk, but it does pose a different kind of problem: When your PV dips below a certain level, it’s your bottom line that suffers, and it becomes more difficult to stay in business.