Why I Like My Job (Patient Recall 101)

While I was at Skytop lecturing last week, I ran into JR Vought – actually, he literally ran into me on purpose – who proceeded to do what he usually does in my classes, which is ask me questions which are somewhere between really good and yanking my chain.

JR pays attention, you see, and his natural instinct combined with me telling him a handful of times over the years, meant that when I turned to the class and said, “…and when you institute your new patient recall mechanism, monetize it.  That is, convert the results into something the physicians understand.  You might feel like your recall system was a success, but why not prove it – the data is easy…” JR already had a spreadsheet for me when I returned from my trip.

Let me put his results below into perspective.  JR dutifully manages a busy 5-doctor practice in northeast PA.  Nice folks, I’ve known them forever. But when you look at his results below, don’t think that this is some 25-doctor monstrosity.  This is a practice that resembles more of you reading this than it doesn’t.  I am going to quote his email, which included an amazing spreadsheet, here:

Hi Chip-
In 2008, we did ~4,400 overdue well visits through our  recalling process (see attachment).  The revenue impact??  An additional $493k, (avg $112/well visit in 2008), excluding vaccines.

Yup, read that carefully. 5 docs following up on their visits all year long push out an additional 4.4K visits and bring in nearly half a million dollars, or $100K each.

$100K each!  For doing their most important work!  And $112/visit reflects the low revenue in his part of the country…many of you should exceed that easily.

What I love about JR’s message and his attachment is that he can tell me exactly how many visits he brought in, how much they made (excluding immunizations!), and what the impact is on his practice.  From his spreadsheet, I can see which months had the most effective recall success.  Which physicians had the biggest gaps and caught up the most (or the least).  And even, in his case, the effect of running a second recall on the kids who don’t respond to the first one – the result?  The second recall letter had a higher response rate than the first.  None of this is difficult or even hard work.  Just requires being organized.  OK, that’s hard work for me, but you get my point.

And here’s the best part, for me – JR’s spreadsheet, showing recall data for each doctor, broken down by month – indicates that he has a full preventive care program in place in his office.  It wasn’t some one-time deal, JR actually has a Medical Home and he’s getting paid to do it.

JR, you are my new example in my “Preventive Care For Fun And Profit” class.  Awesome work.

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