A successful office manager who we admire and respect once told us that there are three main components to her job.
The first is to assure the delivery of a top-notch patient experience. The clinical care and treatment, of course, was mainly in the hands of the doctor. But just about everything else—staffing, administration, and every patient touchpoint—was expected to be superior quality.
The second component is to maximize income. The business side of the practice—particularly the interface with insurance companies, office bookkeeping and billing systems—assure a tight financial ship.
And the third item is to minimize expenses. This practice followed a budget and every dollar spent was done so wisely.
As a result of the care and keeping of this office manager—along with an excellent doctor, a great staff, experienced teamwork and a well-considered marketing plan—this practice was business-stable and successful.
Having worked with thousands of provider practices, it’s fair to say that people in the position of practice administrator, Chief Financial Officer and/or CPA are usually nice people who are good at their job.
But the business of healthcare delivery has changed dramatically. And as the guardian of the practice financial health, some office managers are struggling with costs as never before. In fact, your practice administrator might be, quite unintentionally, killing you with cuts.
A Slow Death by a Well-Intended But Misguided CPA
The self-defeating tragedy is that, in the face of unprecedented competition, some financial gatekeepers have been avoiding investing in marketing. “We’ve never done that before,” they will say. Or, “Our old marketing wasn’t working, so we cut the expense.”
Sadly, the protective instincts of these practice administrators were with good intentions, but with rather nasty consequences. Consider that…
- Marketing is not an expense item. It’s an investment with goals and a measurable return.
- The past is not a guide to what’s needed today, especially when you’re losing market share.
- Tough, new competition requires new action…and likely a new investment in marketing to protect your enterprise.
Respected financial officers and CPAs recognize marketing as vital fuel for capturing new business. They invest in fending off loss to the competition and for the maintenance and growth of the practice. And, rather that killing the “expense” (and inadvertently, the practice), they carefully monitor the cost-effective plan to produce a healthy Return-on-Investment.
For related reading, see:
- Is Your Marketing Budget Too Wimpy to Be Competitive?
- Putting Pencil to Paper for a Realistic Healthcare Organization Marketing Budget
- The True Definition of ROI: Metrics for Profitable Hospital Marketing
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