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Financial Health Check: Using KPIs to Access FQHC Stability


Financial Health Check: Using KPIs to Assess FQHC Stability 

As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) executive, it's likely that your primary goal is to provide quality healthcare services to the communities you serve. However, to achieve this mission effectively and sustainably, it's crucial to maintain a strong financial foundation. One powerful tool at your disposal for achieving this is measuring metrics that matter. In this article, we'll explore how financial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can serve as a barometer of an FQHC's overall health and sustainability, how tracking revenue cycle KPIs can improve cash flow, and how you can translate KPI insights into actionable strategies for center improvement. Because, after all, you can't manage what you don't measure. Let's dive in. 

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The Significance of FQHC Financial Health

Your FQHC plays a pivotal role in ensuring that vulnerable populations have access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare services. To continue fulfilling this mission effectively, your FQHC must maintain a stable financial position. The financial health of an FQHC goes beyond just dollars and cents; it directly impacts the quality of care provided, the ability to expand services, and the overall sustainability of your center. 


KPIs as the Barometer of FQHC Health and Sustainability

Imagine financial KPIs as the vital signs of your FQHC. Just as a physician monitors blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature to assess a patient's health, you can use KPIs to evaluate your center's financial well-being. Here are some – but not all – key financial KPIs that FQHC executives, like yourself, should focus on:


  1. Operating Margin

The operating margin, which measures the profitability of your center's core operations, is a critical KPI. A positive operating margin indicates that your FQHC is covering its operational costs and potentially generating surplus funds for reinvestment or expansion.

  1. Revenue per Patient

This KPI tracks the average revenue generated per patient visit. An increase in revenue per patient suggests that your FQHC is delivering more value and optimizing its revenue potential. There is a lot that goes into play when tracking revenue. And here at Synergy Billing, we can help you navigate all the nuances of this metric. 

  1. Cost per Visit

On the flip side, monitoring the cost per visit helps identify inefficiencies and excessive expenses. Lowering this metric without compromising quality care is a goal that can positively impact your center's financial health. When working with FQHC billing experts, you'll find some best practices and things to look for when measuring these important ratios, like cost per visit. 

  1. Clean Claim Rate

The clean claim rate measures the percentage of claims submitted without errors or omissions. A higher clean claim rate leads to quicker reimbursements and improved cash flow. And as you know, errors can be costly. 

  1. Denial Rate

Tracking the percentage of denied claims can uncover issues with coding, documentation, or billing processes. It may seem obvious, but reducing the denial rate can significantly impact revenue collection. Tracking this metric will provide insight in to various avenues of your FQHC's operations. 

  1. Patient Collections Rate

This KPI measures the effectiveness of your patient collections process. It reflects how efficiently your FQHC collects payments directly from patients. Improving this rate can contribute to enhanced cash flow.


Translating KPI Insights into Actionable Strategies

Collecting KPI data is only the first step; the real value comes from using these insights to make informed decisions and drive improvements. Here are some strategies to help you turn KPI insights into actionable steps: 

  1. Establish Clear Benchmarks

Set benchmark values for each KPI based on industry standards or your center's historical performance. These benchmarks serve as targets for improvement. Don't let this valuable data go to waste. 

  1. Regularly Review and Analyze Data

Frequent analysis of KPI data allows you to spot trends and anomalies promptly. Implement regular review sessions with your billing and finance teams to discuss findings and identify areas that require attention. 

  1. Collaborative Decision-Making

Involve key stakeholders, including clinicians and administrative staff, in the decision-making process. Their insights can help you develop strategies that consider both financial and patient care aspects. Sometimes, it can be hard to solve problems from a birds-eye view. Getting to hear the perspectives of your FQHC from those who manage the day-to-day can be empowering and insightful. 

  1. Continuous Process Improvement

Use KPI insights to identify areas for process improvement. For example, if your cost per visit is high, collaborate with staff to find ways to reduce expenses without compromising patient care. Always be striving to improve, but remember to celebrate your milestones with your team, too! 

  1. Invest in Training and Technology

If revenue cycle KPIs indicate issues with billing or coding, invest in staff training or consider upgrading your billing systems to improve efficiency. Collaborating with Synergy Billing, for example, can help your FQHC uncover revenue potential, improve your billing processes, alleviate unnecessary stressors from your team, and build stability in the financial health of your health center. 

  1. Monitor Progress and Adapt

Regularly track progress toward your KPI benchmarks and adjust your strategies as needed. Remember that financial health is an ongoing journey, and flexibility is key. Be okay with changing things up every now and then and pivoting when something isn't working. Be open to feedback and lean on the experts. 

Blog Images (13)At the end of the day, financial KPIs are not just numbers on a spreadsheet; they are powerful tools that provide critical insights into your FQHC's overall health and sustainability. By tracking these metrics, especially revenue cycle metrics, you can enhance cash flow, make informed decisions, and drive positive change within your center. Remember that the ultimate goal is to continue providing high-quality healthcare services to underserved communities, and a financially stable FQHC is better equipped to fulfill this vital mission. 

If you are interested in talking to a Synergy Billing expert, give us a call today, 386-675-4709 or click the request help today button below.     

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