Did you know that practices, on average are losing up to $100,000 plus per vet per annum? This is a scary number when you consider the Cost of Living (CoL) crisis and the tight reins we should all be having on our costs, and it’s all down to missed charges at the vet practice.
With such a significant revenue loss, many articles and research suggest that it’s down to human error and unintentional behaviour or habits. Our minds are conditioned to think that an occasional invoicing mistake or a missed charge won’t mean much, but cumulatively, it’s a whole different story. Added up over time, it can result in thousands of dollars of revenue lost for the practice.
Whether you’re out in the field or performed an x-ray in-house and simply forgot to add it to the bill because you’ve been so busy flitting about from room-to-room, missed charges seem to be a common mistake down to the nature of a busy vet practice.
The 10-20% missed charges gap
The DMV360 and Today’s Veterinary Business articles suggest from a study that “on average, hospitals were failing to invoice 17% of their diagnostic charges. Other commonly missed charges include fecal exams, injection fees, recheck exams, ultrasound-guided cystocentesis and blood draws.”
It seems that veterinary practices are missing out on between 10-20% of their annual revenue which could be thousands or millions in lost revenue! Once again, in the CoL crisis, it seems a no-brainer to tap into this area as a high-priority project where you can have both short-term, quick wins and longer-term yields.
Today’s Veterinary Business suggests running a simple internal invoice audit. In addition, by doing things like comparing medical records to invoices or analysing your income-to-expense ratios by category, you can see potential missed charges over a certain period of time.
Plug the gap and fix your missed charges issue with veterinary software technology
By using the power of practice management technology (PMS) such as Ascend, our cloud-based PMS, you can do several things to resolve the missed charges issue:
- Take advantage of automated bi-directional integrations such as linking records to products and pricing, all whilst automatically emailing or messaging the clients to ensure they are billed properly.
- Utilise built-in templates such as our Estimates function (see our 1-min example video below) which streamlines your workflow processes and ensures consistent charging throughout the practice, again with automated emailing, eliminating any heavy administration.
- Go paperless and use predictive data management. By having your records fully up-to-date and using Ascend’s intelligent thinking, record management and patient file data are kept scrupulously up-to-date, meaning there’s no redundant data and thus easier to communicate and send charges to the client. It also reduces the manual effort required in the billing process. Less time is spent on administrative duties or record finding!
The greatest opportunity
As always, in every crisis, there’s an opportunity. And that opportunity is a crystal clear target of thousands in revenue. At a time when staff members are looking for a salary increase or you just need to build commensurate revenue to cover rising costs, this is a perfect but easily overlooked opportunity to tighten your reins or become more strategic in how your practice is managed. Looking at missed charges in your veterinary practice can be your golden nugget.
By taking advantage of your PMS and taking care of missed charges at the veterinary practice, it also strengthens your client relationships because of the transparent billing and charging in a timely manner. Instead of being in a situation where you are “chasing” up payment after forgetting to charge or bill for the service and products provided, you serve your customers better by being proactive. Enhancing the client experience in real-time also makes a huge difference to your client’s perspective of your brand.
Technology is always there to be a friend, but how it’s used or not used has implications on the practice. Your team are best served by speaking to your current PMS provider for further exploration and/or training on how to automate things better or if you’re finding that it’s not working the way it should, explore other PMS providers. To date, our cloud-based solution, Ascend is helping local veterinary practices like you every day and you can hear more from them directly here.
For other resources, you can also check out our 2023 Veterinary Trends and Insights eBook which explores building commensurate revenue and pet-health plans as another way of saving costs and bringing in cash flow to the practice.
Download your copy of the 2023 eBook
Source: DMV360, Missing Charges? Your Veterinary Software Should Help, October 2019