How outsourcing can drive efficiencies in your Medical Practice

In recent months we have experienced a lot of interest among medical practices looking to fully ‘outsource’ their medical accounting tasks, resulting in improved time management for practice staff and more time for their patients.

We are now seeing the focus being shifted from ‘lost time’ (administrative functions such as manual bookkeeping, payroll processing and other accounting tasks) to better ‘productive time’ with more focus on practice management, patient care, performance, future growth and forward planning.

Why consider outsourcing?

There are some very good reasons to consider outsourcing in your practice. Before embarking on any outsourcing program, you should consider the root causes, or underlying reasons, why inefficiency may be present within your practice. By doing this first, you can then consider the type and extent of outsourcing which is right for you and your team.

Some questions to ask to see whether outsourcing might be right for your practice include:

  • Are general administrative functions such as payroll processing, bookkeeping and other general accounting tasks taking up valuable hours which could be used for more meaningful practice management?
  • Do you experience frequent staff changes resulting in increased training costs and lost time?
  • Are you finding it a challenge to keep up to date with constant changes in ‘medical-accounting’ regulations?
  • Is managing software changes, renewal costs and training updates an issue?
  • Are you experiencing increases in quarterly or annual bookkeeping costs?
  • Are you spending many hours outside of work completing accounting tasks?
  • Are you finding it hard to review practice profits, performance and future growth plans?
  • Are you doing the bare minimum to get by without really taking notice of the data and what your financial results are telling you?

Burning the midnight oil is a common trend faced by many practitioners and this impacts on the quality of work delivered due to fatigue and stress.

Practice managers, doctors and other key staff sometimes face frustration in having to do so many tasks in very limited time without being fully resourced or trained sufficiently. This, in addition to their respective individual daily tasks, can result in high turnover from dissatisfied staff and disharmony within the practice.

What to consider when outsourcing

Finding efficiency in lost time is a key area of focus to improving overall business efficiency.

We recommend you review your internal time and costs versus a one-off monthly or quarterly outsourcing cost to assist you with making the right choice. The costs of system upgrades, office space, training, supplies, salaries and benefits of a full time equivalent employee all add up over time.

Some of the common medical-accounting tasks that can easily be outsourced include preparation of:

  • Monthly bookkeeping including
    • Bank reconciliations
    • Ensuring data flows linking from practice software
    • Entering supplier invoices
    • Coordinating supplier payments
  • Monthly management accounts to give you a snapshot of your business performance
  • Monthly payroll for staff and superannuation management
  • Monthly calculation of payments to contracting doctor/s
  • Lodgement of monthly/ quarterly Business Activity Statements
  • Reviews and advice of your business affairs if live data is available
  • Quarterly performance updates and tax savings estimates
  • Annual payroll reconciliation and reporting including preparing end of year PAYG Payment Summary Statements

Plus support by email and phone throughout the year on any accounting or tax issues.

Improving practice efficiency by outsourcing some or all of these tasks will free up more time during work hours for practice managers and doctors to focus on the business strategies that can help the practice to prosper.

If you are interested in reviewing the outsourcing opportunities for your practice, you can contact your Prosperity Health adviser to discuss the options available.

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