There are only 24 hours in a day.
All of my guys are incredibly busy. I’m amazed at the volume of work they get through in a single day. They are either on-call, doing a ward round or in theatre. Then they have to see their private patients. That explains why most of them call me either very early in the morning or in the evening. One prefers a Saturday morning. It doesn’t bother me. It’s my job to fit in around them and make their life easier.
Recently however I was asked to review the private practice of a consultant who was having serious difficulties generating any cash into his practice. And following my question to his long suffering medical secretary, it didn’t take long to establish why. The question was: what is the biggest problem you have this week. The reply said it all:
“I never get a response to the queries or receive the information I need after I’ve asked Mr Surgeon. He always seems too busy to deal with the things I need”
Yet most of the information the med-secretary needed was fundamental to generating cash into the practice. For example: two clinic lists a week ago (result: no invoices sent out) or remittances from an insurance company (no idea who had or hadn’t paid) or the post Mr Surgeon picked up and put in his bag one day last week (it had cheques from patients in it)
So I sat down with Mr Surgeon and asked him what he thought about it. His response was a classic: “I just don’t have time to deal with all that. My private patients are paying to see me so they must come first”
I agree with him; partially anyway.
The stark reality is he is right enough to be dangerously wrong. He is right as regards putting the patients first but he needs to ensure his administrative support is first rate too.
The reason Mr Surgeon is having difficulty generating the cash due is in him not dealing with such issues as the missing clinic lists or not passing over remittance advices.
Mr Surgeon needed to make very sure, the support facilities of the practice were dealt with. The word “support” suggests these things can be demoted to a “Too busy to deal with that and they are not that important so I’ll deal with it later” category.
Sadly they can’t.
Eventually they catch up with you. In the case of Mr Surgeon, they were the reason he was struggling to generate cash into his practice.
Compare and contrast that with another real life MHM client: Mr B Surgeon. He is very different from Mr A Surgeon save curiously they see a similar number of patients each week and are in theatre on the same day too (but in different parts of the UK)
Mr B Surgeon will send his clinic list the day he sees his patients. His theatre lists arrive the same day too. All of which means his invoices are out the proverbially electronic door within 24 / 36 hours. In the unlikely event there are queries, a response comes back to me either that same day or at the latest the next. His cash flow is many, many times greater than Mr A Surgeon.
In case you are wondering why I don’t have such issues with MHM clients its because every single week my clients take their post or clinic lists etc scan them to me and promptly proceed to forget about them thereafter.