Healthcare

Winning The EBITDA

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<p><span data-contrast="none">Incoming business and the generated top line is the key for any business. However, little is recognised that the accrued efficacy of the top line to convert to real profit is finally determined by the bottom line and the many factors that affect it. I would call it the dance of the devils.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">This winning bop between the Topline&nbsp;and the&nbsp;Bottom&nbsp;line is a simple result of an enabling and empowering management and leadership, a&nbsp;well-trained team, working over a seamless (information flow between financial tools, HRM, HIS, etc.) smart system which at times may not be smart, much like an uncommon common sense. To get to this is a systematic call to action by the winning team over a number of&nbsp;system loopholes and imperfections that finally culls in the deficiencies and walk towards profits.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">While the big bulge at the top is much wanted, how the organisation functions finally&nbsp;determine&nbsp;the profits. A bulge in the tummy, read as many bureaucratic&nbsp;levels, complicated information movement from department to department, etc.&hellip;the fat here is always bad. This is true for all industries, only that the healthcare services sector is much more complicated. My emphasis is because healthcare is&nbsp;many&nbsp;industries rolled into one. Thus, to focus on higher profitability, one&nbsp;must understand each of the subset industry and their adaptations to healthcare.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">The hospitality, the pharmacy, the IT, the medical devices, the building infrastructure, the human resource management, etc. are the few key subsets of industries within healthcare services. Each stream can add to the top line when used well or become a leaky pipeline as easily and as un-evidently! Fixing these leaky pipelines needs a thorough check as most of these would be invisible. A lot of hidden costs are because of things like the type of autoclaving, quality of devices and consumables, the efficacy of low-cost drugs, linen type, etc. Choose a cheaper unit with compromised quality and it can up&nbsp;spend&nbsp;on number of units. A small example could be fancy lightings and panels. They look very appealing and fancy at the beginning but eventually become a maintenance hazard &ndash; both in terms of repair expense and cleaning expense needing more manpower and other things. So&nbsp;also,&nbsp;for fancy furniture, the wrong furnishing materials,&nbsp;and fancy linen for that matter. And cheaper is also not the best as is the common notion in some of these cases. One hospital chose anti-stain linen which was double the cost of the regular being used but allowed cutting the cost of discards in the financial year.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">Adapting various control measures across all areas with a keen eye on various metrics by an empowered team is the key to better service offerings as well as higher EBITDA.&nbsp;Thus,&nbsp;also the fact that this is also proportional to patient satisfaction and a&nbsp;well-trained&nbsp;team. What is also important is the engagement pattern between the clinical and&nbsp;non-clinical teams. It is this engagement that finally defines the WINNING team. The outcome of the cubic moves between the clinical and non-clinical processes finally reflects not only inpatient outcomes but also in the P&amp;L numbers. The key metrics ALOS, ARPOC, ARPOB, and ARPD push up through this engagement and reflect the dexterity in the medical programs, the efficiency in the patient schedules and finally the earnings.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">The key to an efficient business that makes the most of the top line and maximizes profits through the bottom line lies in the right operations formula that fits the geographic situation and resource availability. The geographic situation may refer to the specific medical service needs, the economic viability with respect to the buying power of the populations, the various central and state government schemes available for the population, the distribution and strength of the free of cost government facilities available.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">The right formula refers to organisation structure, the structural, medical and digital infrastructure availability,&nbsp;and the mode of operations and organisation capabilities. The operative formula could be centralized, decentralized, or hybrid. The choice needs to be based on the geographic, socio-political climate, the type of services, and the scale of operations. One formula may not fit all organisations and these differentiations need to be understood while deciding. Many times,&nbsp;leaders end up making a mistake by blindly choosing basis&nbsp;an experience from a past organisation in different geography. Each organisation has a maturity curve in terms of&nbsp;creating and building a work system and ideology. While recreating such systems, a lot more thought needs to go into the various dynamics of the business itself and the business environment for a smooth transition. Most organisation re-engineering projects fail because of these dynamics being overlooked.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">In the process of organisation structure and process re-engineering, a deep understanding of the existing methods and systems is mandatory. Look at it as relaying the existing plumbing lines, a tiny miss could cause a new leak alongside the existing ones. An interesting example would be of a pharmacy chain wherein a new digital system was created over the old one and this new system could not sniff out or capture the physical leakages that were happening underneath leading to a drain of at least half a percentage in the contribution, if not more.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">These joints are critical to be seen in not only the Revenue Cycle Management processes but rather along the service lines leading&nbsp;up to&nbsp;these.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">In hospital parlance, the consumption that is slid into packages, the efficient usage based on quality and quantity during procedures being done, the specific supplies being used, the reuse patterns, etc are an area often overlooked when creating financial efficiencies. Giving a small example. Some commonly used consumables in a chain of hospitals were changed by the purchasing team and replaced by those that had a lower per-unit cost. The quality check was forgotten during this transaction. As a result,&nbsp;the consumption cost&nbsp;grew instead of the projected savings. The reason was simple. The end users ended up using much more of these as the items would break. The quantity of consumption almost doubled. An un-noticed cost that went up was also of the manpower resource as the turnaround&nbsp;times to deliver the treatment went up. The nurses and doctors would spend more time doing the same thing as the consumables would break often. This also resulted in poor patient experience.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">In a particular project, working on removing obstacles for the service providers&nbsp;actually resulted in building efficiencies and bettering net promoter score (NPS) and patient satisfaction scores. The financial results that reflected in the EBITDA of the hospital were to the tune of 3-4 percent.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">Subsequently building in these efficiencies with a combination of top-line initiatives that included brand building (non-lead generation rather health awareness focussed) activities resulted in higher per personnel revenue, keeping the staff as well as patients happy. Specific incentives enabled staff to earn more and delivering better services to the patients and that kept the patients happy. Of course, imperative through the exercise was for the team members to keep a close eye on their respective scorecards and overall hospital metrics of ALOS, ARPOC, ARPOB, ARPD, Contribution, and other costs. </span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-contrast="none">Overall, the key to WIN was always the winning team, the human resources that were trained to WIN, finally achieved the &lsquo;FERRARI Moment&rsquo; in the words of a senior industry leader.</span><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;134233117&quot;:true,&quot;134233118&quot;:true,&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559740&quot;:240}">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335559739&quot;:160,&quot;335559740&quot;:259}">&nbsp;</span></p>
KR Expert - Gurrit Kaur Sethi