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Top 5 Reports You Should Be Using In Your Behavioral Health Practice

There are five business reports every behavioral health practice should monitor monthly. Your electronic health record (EHR) software, accounting, and related practice management tools should provide the data and the reporting capabilities.

While the numbers don’t lie, it’s likely an unnecessary burden to track all the numbers all the time. Instead, narrow the field to some key business metrics by watching revenue, accounts receivable, marketing, annual data for comparison, and client retention.

Save your deep data dives for a time when you want to study trends or use the information for goal setting and problem solving. Instead, stick to a simple, monthly schedule for regular data review.

Use the Previous Year’s Data as a Benchmark

For established practices, nothing is more insightful than last year’s annual report. Compare what happened last year with what you see this year. How do the numbers compare?

Are this year’s numbers for operating expenses and gross income in line with last year? This is the opportunity to see if your practice is on track with past performance. When the answer is “No,” then, it’s time to dig a little deeper for an explanation. If there’s an increase or decrease in revenue, can you identify the cause?

Gathering data for annual reports shouldn’t be overly complicated. Look to the billing and other performance tracking within your EHR for a fast and easy solution.

Continue reading: The Top 5 Reports for Your Behavioral Health Practice

Track Revenue and Working Capital for Your Behavioral Health Practice

Revenue, also known as top line or gross income, is money earned by your business. How much revenue are you generating? Are you exceeding your goals? Breaking even? Struggling to pay expenses?

Whatever the answer, pay close attention to the data and act quickly. Patching holes in a ship is much easier when you catch the leaks early.

Set up reports to show you the following at a glance: gross income, operating expenses, working capital (difference between current assets and liabilities), and the current month’s spending plan.

The reports you use regularly need to mesh with the revenue-related areas you want to watch closely. Choose what works for your practice.

Is Your Accounts Receivable (AR) Healthy?

Accounts receivable are the balance owed for services you have already provided. Who owes you what? How many days has an account been overdue? Are particular insurance payers regularly slow to pay?

This is important information to keep a close eye on when you manage or own a practice. Look for customizable reports in your EHR that track AR by payer, so you can get a clear picture of overdue accounts.

Behavioral health practices have a challenging set of details to manage when it comes to billing. An EHR-integrated billing system designed for behavioral health can help track deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, and claim denials.

Retention Numbers: Are They Coming Back?

Patient retention is at the heart of every successful behavioral healthcare practice. In order to help your patients achieve good outcomes and keep your business healthy, you have to keep them coming back. Look at the numbers monthly to track if your clients sticking with treatment or one-and-done.

Here, data from EHR systems can zero in on problem areas because patient flow and outcomes can be measured in a number of different ways. An annual report, for starters, will give you the basic number to compare with last year’s performance. Watch these numbers monthly.

If, however, you see a drop when comparing this month to last year at the same time, your EHR’s performance reporting should break down the number of clients per clinician, how often they’re coming back, and treatment outcomes. In addition, you should be able to see the average life cycle with a client per clinician.

Track Referrals and Your Prospective Patient Pipeline

Referrals are prospective patients that come from payer networks or healthcare providers. These are sometimes required for a patient to receive covered care (e.g. a referral from a primary care doctor to see a psychiatrist), but not always. While it can be challenging, tracking referrals will give you good insight into the sources of new patients.

Where are your referrals coming from? If you see a large number of referrals from a particular colleague or local clinic, it may be an opportunity to collaborate. Or, perhaps it’s time to reach out to other providers.

The health of your prospective patient pipeline has a major effect on your practice. It is a leading indicator of revenue and growth. After all, the end of the patient care cycle is offboarding – ideally with good treatment outcomes – so you’ve got to keep new prospective patients coming in.

Use your EHR to track and report on prospective patients each month. How many are in the pipeline? How many become patients? How long does it take to get them onboarded? The answers to these questions will inform any changes needed to improve the process and shore up your pipeline.

Diving into performance metrics can be overwhelming without a guide. Check out our Behavioral Health Performance Indicators Whitepaper for more info.

Interpreting the Data and Taking Action

Having the right reports is crucial, but it’s only the first step. You’ve got to figure out what the data is telling you. Is your revenue on pace with your goals? Are your payers reimbursing you in a timely manner? Are patients returning for more treatment? How is your practice doing compared to last year?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can determine how best to respond. Perhaps you want to bring on more providers to expand your reach and increase revenue. Maybe you need additional billing staff to chase down overdue AR accounts. Or perhaps the data shows that a bigger marketing budget leads to more prospective patients.

Knowledge is power and good reporting gives you the power to help your practice succeed.

Valant’s EHR for behavioral health gives you the ability to track key business metrics all throughout the patient care lifecycle, so your practice can thrive.