Medical Advantage Podcast EP 2: Financial Dashboards with Peter McCann

by | Jan 27, 2021

 

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As the healthcare industry continues to transition to value-based care models, more and more medical practices are recognizing the need for data and financial management in healthcare. To address this need, Medical Advantage recently introduced its Financial Dashboards solution, a groundbreaking new form of medical practice management software.

Tune in to hear Pete McCann, Medical Advantage’s healthcare analytics and private equity expert, discuss how the Financial Dashboard solution empowers practices to implement effective, growth-driving executive strategy by equipping them with automatically-generated, real-time reports on a host of data and KPI’s for medical practices.

This is the second episode in the Medical Advantage Podcast, where we take time each episode to discuss the ideas and technologies changing healthcare, and the best practices your organization can take to stay productive and profitable. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to ensure you never miss an episode.

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Full Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Medical Advantage Podcast, where you can hear healthcare professionals, expert consultants, and industry thought leaders discuss the exciting new ideas and technologies that are changing the business of healthcare. Tune in to each episode as we hear from some of the most innovative minds in medicine about the future of healthcare and how your organization can stay profitable, efficient, and on top of industry best practices.  

Hi everyone welcome back to the Medical Advantage podcast series, I am your host Celina Dusseau and today we are joined by Pete McCann. For those who have viewed our webinar series in the past you might be familiar with Pete as our VP and Private Equity Advisor, with over 30 years of experience in healthcare and private equity. Pete’s wealth of knowledge in physician practices and private equity. Makes him truly an invaluable resource for today’s topic. As today we will be discussing financial dashboards for private equity and private practice. 

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: Pete, welcome to the podcast.  

Pete McCann: Thank you, Celina. Thanks for asking me to join today. 

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: Of course. So thank you for joining us. We’re really excited to discuss financial dashboard solutions. So as we get started, would you like to just introduce yourself real quick, tell us a bit about what you do and what brings us here today? 

Pete McCann: Sure. Thanks for the opportunity. So I’ve spent about the last 30 years in the healthcare profession, mostly on the physician practice side. All different specialties from family practice to internal medicine to dental to gastro and have seen the changes that have occurred over the last 30 years from all kind of independent private practice physicians to large groups, IDN based health system based and most recently all the private equity roll up groups that are out there in full force and really combining across the country to create much larger cross state groups. With that comes a lot of different challenges and opportunities, and then some of what we’re talking about today will help address some of those challenges. 

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: Thanks, Pete. And one of those challenges that many multi location groups face is around the need for unifying data across different data sources and locations. So I’d love to get your insights on this whole space. What does this unifying data concept mean for practices today? 

Pete McCann: Right. One of the biggest challenges that offices have is standardizing all of the processes and procedures in the multiple locations that they now own. In the initial stages of the creation of these large groups or MSOs, a lot of the focus is on just bringing the groups together, bringing either from a one type of specialty together or bringing multi specialties under one roof. So a lot of focus is on the financials making sure the doctors and the partners are all taken care of and kind of getting the basic process flow down.  

The subset of that is what happens after the deal closes. So now you’ve got one location primarily. That becomes kind of an anchor and 10, 20, 30 locations around that. How do you standardize everything in those groups to form a cohesive, larger institution? And that’s a lot of the challenges that come up. So what we see is when the groups merge, you’ve got 30 groups. You may have 25 different EHRs. You may have 20 different practice management. You’ve got 20 different sets of accounting software. You’ve got 20 different HR packages. And, or many of it is done manually. You’ve got 25 office managers who are running those offices coherently. Now you’ve got to bring all of that together, so that the ownership can make decisions that will provide better patient care and a more consistent effort across the all of the facilities. So that’s where what we’ll talk about today comes into play from the data side.  

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: Yeah, and exactly as you mentioned. So historically, since the introduction of EHRs and all of these reporting demands, business units have pretty much have had to operate independently, manually running reports from all of those different data sources, as you mentioned, but every time you run a report, that data effectively changes the moment you run it. But what we’ll be talking about today is where financial dashboards can give you a live look not only at your single practice, but all of those data feeds across different business units, which also incites this concept of benchmarking and standardization. So, Pete, do you want to speak to that just a little bit?  

Pete McCann: Yes, that’s a great point. When you’ve got a single practice. You tend to benchmark all of the processes within your group. So you’ve got policies and procedures, you’ve got payer data, you’ve got reimbursement data, you’ve got quality care data to say what kind of quality you’re delivering to your patients. Now that you’re spread across 30 locations, how do you bring that together cohesively? To make decisions about what needs to be invested in what processes need to be changed and what benchmarks should be used.  

So there’s definitely, national benchmarks that are out there based on the data per subspecialty, there’s organizations that can provide that medical advantage can help with that process but how do you put that all together to make sure that you’re providing quality care and that you’re running efficiently as compared to other Groups of your size in your region. So part of that is and starts with the data, bringing the data in on a daily basis, creating insightful reports that report back to the ownership and the physicians so that they can make decisions that will affect patient care today and beyond easier said than done again. As I mentioned, bringing in all these data sources and then really just defining what the reports look like. So we start with a set of standard reports to look at benchmarks across specialties, some financial data to make sure that positions are efficient and what the, what they’re delivering from a revenue standpoint. We look at payer data, we look at collection data, but what is the template to be used on. It really depends on the specialty, the region and what the practice and group is striving to accomplish long term. So understanding and breaking all that down. We start with understanding what we’re looking for, what we’re looking to report and then back into all the data sources to make sure. That we’re mapping and pooling all that data correctly to present that picture to the physicians and the owners. 

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: That’s great. And I appreciate you mentioning that this, you know, these types of data that you could be looking at are both internal things such as EHR data, finances, HR, all of the things that are required to run the business. But also, those benchmarks and KPIs that are, you know, really driving the care that the providers are giving so it’s both, you know, benchmarks from, you know, patient perspective as well as the, you know, what it takes to run the business. 

Pete McCann: Correct. I mean, the overall goal for why… Healthcare exists is to provide the most efficient and the best quality care that you can for patients. Some of that gets lost in the day-to-day business operations, especially as businesses start to multiply and grow across regions and state lines, but how do we, how do we bring that back to what we’re trying to do? Provide the best and most efficient, cost-effective care to the patients that’s giving them a healthier lifestyle and part of that, we put into the dashboard reportings based on criteria that we look for. But we can never lose sight of that and if we start with that premise. The data that we pull in can all be centered around those benchmarks. 

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: That’s great. And you, you mentioned that, you know, this is really wonderful for multi loc, multi-location large organizations, specifically in the private equity space, but we always have the smaller practices on our mind to and what we found is that financial dashboards can really provide a quality of analytics for small to midsize organizations, including MSOs that was previously only available to large organizations. So can you talk a little bit about how this can be scaled to serve all levels of the physician organization? 

Pete McCann: Absolutely and part of it is any business needs proper data and reporting to ensure their efficiencies, whether it’s the small local mom and pop small business in town or the large corporations. Such is true about the physician office and practice, no matter what size you are, the, the, dashboarding that we offer is customizable to that, so we can go from a single office location to the multiple locations, but all of it’s important, no matter what size you are, because if you’re not understanding how you’re not data is performing how your office is performing and the care that you’re giving to patients. You lose sight of what really is important. It’s easy to get wrapped up in copays and what the insurance is paying but what’s the overall goal is that patient care. So what are the metrics to use for that and that really needs to occur at a single position office to a group of 500? We can provide all of that so that the process that we do is very scalable. This isn’t an ominous look that’s only used for large corporations. It really starts with a single physician.  

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: Absolutely. And this is such an important topic as practices are having to adapt uniquely this year coming out of a pandemic, adjusting a new coding rules and just trying to keep their heads above water. This really does serve as a built-in connection to some of our own consultancy services where we help assist practices and private equities going forward and helping them act upon some of their existing reporting needs. So Pete, what are your thoughts on how financial dashboards augment other practice improvement initiatives that groups may be undertaking or even just considering. 

Pete McCann: It’s a great question. As we know that, you know, the what you mentioned that, you know, the billing and coding changes that will that will take place over the next few years are very important as they drive you know, procedures and really drive the efficiency of the practice and what can be provided to patients. There are many offices that really never looked at, two or three billing cycles ago when ICD 9 was introduced or ICD 10. So how do, how do you take that perspective and Medical Advantage can bring you that perspective? There’s other organizations that can do that too to make sure that you’re on the most current billing and coding methodology, but how does that relate back to the actual process of providing care? Groups like Medical Advantage can use our clinical knowledge our consultants who have been running offices or where nurses or practitioners in the office take the day to day workflow of a patient checking in to the care that’s provided and translate that to the data that goes into the EHR and beyond. 

The second part of that is once you have that workflow down, because really that’s the most important, how are you providing care? And are you providing care in a uniform methodology that is recognized by all the associations including CMS and the coding group? coding associations. So once you have that down, where does the data go and what do you do with the data from there? That’s what we’ve done. So we can, capture you from the minute that patient walks into the office or actually beyond that. We can actually help attract the patient to the office. Go through the process of what the clinician should be administering in terms of care and then help you extract the data to make it meaningful to make decisions.  

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: That’s a really important point that you make there is that it’s not just identifying areas for improvement, but having a group of people that really understands what that means, you know, from the physician and the patient perspective. but also how to address and solve the issues and that’s the thing is taking it from A to Z, identifying what it is that you need to be doing, being sure that you’re getting credit for the work that’s being done as a physician and where there might be some gaps, having a hand to hold that will sit there elbow to elbow with you and help you address and solve the issues in a way that works for your organization, be that one location or 25 locations just being able to streamline that, save yourself some manpower and really be sure that you are able to provide the best care that you possibly can.  

Pete McCann: Correct and part of that is really understanding healthcare. So there’s healthcare as being one of the largest industries in America today, from the volume it does, it comes down to, you really need to understand from, from the beginning, from what healthcare needs to be administered to how to treat and care for patients. If you don’t understand that, the data becomes meaningless, so the mapping of the data, the data elements that come out of EHRs, practice management, or even diagnoses and payer data becomes just Facts and figures, when you have a group like Medical Advantage with the consultants that we have, the expertise, we understand what the data actually means, what those data points are. Until you can do that effectively, it’s very difficult to report back, other than in a very empirical data way, what the meaning is. So that’s where not only our creation of these dashboards takes place from. The presentation and the functionality and the technology standpoint, we understand what the data looks like in the health care realm. I would recommend to anyone, whether it’s Medical Advantage Group or another consultant group, when you look at who can help you with these projects, make sure they’re health care based because it’s not intuitive. You have to have experts who have lived and breathed this, and who are experts in the field, and that doesn’t come overnight. It takes years of understanding how practices work and how patient care is administered.  

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: Absolutely. That’s such a big thing to keep in mind is, you know, your, your reporting that goes out is not just facts and figures about how your business is being run, but it’s reflective of the people that you’re working with. You know, this is the work of the humans in your practice. And of course, we all want to be sure that everyone’s work is recognized. You know, your practice is full of wonderful providers, and it’s a wonderful way to be sure that the work that everyone is doing is reflected properly in the higher level reporting that you’re doing. 

Pete McCann: Correct and that’s the understanding of how healthcare needs to be administered to patients is the core of that. From there, you can build logical data mappings and reports to report on that and make changes. But unless you understand the basics of it, it’s very difficult to have meaningful reports coming out the back end. 

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: Absolutely. So Pete, as we begin to wrap up here, could you just give us a few top takeaways from what we’ve discussed today? Where to begin, what to consider, and where we might be able to help. 

Pete McCann: Sure the basics to look at is what kind of current information and data that you have for reports. There are a lot of EHRs that have kind of standard reports. Are you using those reports? Are you spending a lot of time aggregating data? Fifteen years ago, that question was easy to say because a lot of them, offices were on paper charts. So there’s a lot of man hours of pulling charts, recording it, photocopying, and make sure you had all the records on file. Most of that’s been solved with the EHR, but that doesn’t solve the issue of are you using that data correctly? Do you have the reporting that you need? So the data now is at least electronic and saves the manpower, but there’s manpower that goes into taking those reports and you utilize them from the EHRs. The biggest, one of the biggest components that we have in terms of creating these dashboards is we save manpower within the office of taking 15 or 16 data sources or reports and bringing that together in a comprehensive view of the practice and what they should be doing. 

So I would start with saying, do you have the reports that you need? Have an organization look at yourselves internally, maybe your practice manager. What are, what are some of the, the, their pain points? What is, what are they spending their time doing? And if it’s a lot of reporting or you know, manual processes to get information, then this is certainly an area where you need to look at and where we can be, we can start the process to help you out there. 

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: Great. Thank you so much, Pete. This has been incredibly informative and especially relevant as reporting needs are changing and everyone is taking on more responsibility on the data management side of their practices.  

Pete McCann: No, no problem. It’s it’s kind of a passion of mine as I’ve worked in healthcare and seen the change over the last 30 years. 30 years ago, there were very few systems that ran. Physician practices, EHRs were not prevalent in the marketplace. Even health systems were just starting to implement some, some information. To help them run their groups. We’re in a whole different world now, but if you don’t harness the power of what’s going into those properly and take a look at it and use that to provide better patient care, then you’re really missing out on a big opportunity for your practice, whether you’re a single doc practice or 500 physicians. 

Celina DeFigueiredo-Dusseau: Excellent. Thanks, Pete and on that, so for any of our listeners, should you have any questions or would like some more information on financial dashboards or data management, I’d really like to invite you to find us on LinkedIn and Facebook or even our website medicaladvantage.com for more updates, resources, blogs, podcasts, and webinars, or even reach out to us directly with your questions or concerns at info@medicaladvantage.com. We truly are here to answer your questions and help you in any way that we can. So with that, Pete, I’d like to thank you again for your time and insights today and thank you always to our listeners for joining us. See you next time. 

Pete McCann: Thank you, Celina. 

Medical Advantage Podcast: Thanks for joining us this week on the Medical Advantage Podcast where we discuss the ideas and technologies changing healthcare and what they mean to your organization. For more information, visit us at medicaladvantage.com and make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcast, so you never miss a show. 


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