We’re Sharing Crucial Tips (Plus: Download Summary of 2024 Fee-Schedule Impacts)
Have you heard? The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule on Nov. 2, 2023, including some changes that will impact audiology.
With the changes now in effect, it’s a good time to chat about business processes — especially their role in your clinic and the importance of keeping them up to date.
What Do Business Processes Entail?
In its simplest form, a business process is a series of prescribed actions, tasks, or sequences to achieve a specific goal. Whether it involves checking in a patient, coding a service, ensuring availability of hearing care providers, or maintaining audiometric equipment, process in its most ideal form is structured, documented, standardized, well-defined, integrable, and geared toward a clear objective.
Many may confuse process with procedure or policy. Though typically interconnected with process, the latter two concepts also differ in some key respects.
- Procedure often involves the steps to carry out a distinct task within a larger process
- Policy is an established rule, provision, or principle that may govern behavior, decisions, or process
Why Does Keeping Processes Current Matter?
Running a business without process is like conducting a ballet without choreography. The ballet’s lack of a critical ingredient — discrete, synchronized movements timed to soaring music and a moving storyline — results in a haphazard performance destined for audience dissatisfaction, poor public reviews, and a tarnished reputation.
Similarly, a clinic with obsolete processes will have a tough time reaching desired outcomes for the business, its teams, and patients. It may lack needed structure and be unable to pivot amid change, making the practice vulnerable to inefficiencies, errors, and a loss of direction. This can hurt the patient experience, team effectiveness, and the business’s bottom line.
Keeping processes current, however, provides a foundation for harnessing new tools, keeping in step with consumer preferences, catching potential problems early, and leading with best practices. What’s more, clear, up-to-date processes aligned with the business’s goals can:
- Guide employees through organized workflows
- Ensure coordination toward desired outcomes
- Facilitate consistency across locations and teams
- Support revenue generation and scalability
- Enhance the patient experience
- Foster adaptability in an evolving industry
How Can You Make the Most of Process?
Strong processes provide solid benefits, but they require some preliminary work. Taking a little time now lets you — and your business — kick off the new year right. Start by asking yourself, “Do I have a system of processes aligned with my organizational goals?” If so, the next step is to ensure you’re positioned to make the most of them.
Three crucial process steps for success in 2024:
- Evaluating — Review your existing processes, identifying bottlenecks, inconsistencies, noncompliance, and other pitfalls that can torpedo success. Recognizing roadblocks helps cut unnecessary steps, increase clarity, and optimize efficiency.
- Training — Is everyone on the same page? Make sure employees are on top of processes and feel empowered to ask for help or suggest improvements. Clear documentation, learning sessions, and support enhance understanding and adherence to expectations.
- Implementing — Getting past the talking phase and on to the doing stage can prove the biggest challenge. Inertia doesn’t have to win. Setting deadlines, piloting processes, tracking progress, and reporting results helps keep everyone moving forward.
If your billing, coding, or other processes aren’t optimally aligned, Audigy can help. Our proven programs and back-office expertise let you reclaim your time, increase your bottom line, and focus on what matters most: patient care. Don’t wait.