There are four seasons in a year, correct? Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. Or are there only two or three? Busy season, low season, Moderately busy? I’m sure you know how this goes. As an accountant, I always receive words of sympathy from people during tax season, although I do not nor have never done taxes (except my own). Businesses in the Tourism Industry track seasonality in great detail. Sites dedicated to Disney travel can tell you what day this week is best to go to each park. Bloggers disclose the best time to purchase airplane tickets based on how far in advance you are booking, the time of year of your travel, and destination. The Education Sector/Industry…well you are either in school or not right? (Just kidding teachers – all your prep work in the summer may not seem like “low season” to you). Do we all know when our “busy season” or our “low season” occurs?
Working in Healthcare for the last twelve years has taught me a lot. I realized how little providers pay attention to how their appointments, visits, care provided links directly to their cash flow. Most budgets I have seen are created dividing revenues/expenses equally over twelve months. This does not recognize that any seasons exist at all. There are budgets divided by the number of days in the month, but still, these are missing the snowflakes and the summer breeze. A step up are budgets based on the “business” days or “weighted” business days of a month. For example November in the USA, typically 4 weekends and Thanksgiving holiday, a hospital should budget less for weekend care and holiday care as their census is usually down. That is better, but does not take into consideration variables such as flu season, falls on ice, or a potential baby boom due to a storm 9 months prior.
Healthcare providers need to look at their data. Data analytics has been a big buzz word lately. Trust me, I get plenty of vendors trying to sell to me or my companies. Don’t zone out and don’t stop reading…my job is to explain this in terms for you to understand. When I look at monthly financial information…I layer year over year for the same months and look for patterns. In small practices – perhaps the provider takes vacation every December. In hospitals – when are the peaks and valleys? For optometrists and dentists, are there spikes before school starts due to state regulations on dental and eye screenings? Have you had your schedulers ever kept track of requests for appointment times that have not been able to be accommodated due to provider vacations? **MISSED REVENUE**
All this data tells a story. It is the story of your business your practice. Numbers, revenue, expenses, look into the heart of a practice and sees the raw truth of what was going on. Not just vacations, maternity leaves, trends of your patient schedules, conferences…these numbers tell your story. My business – FinanSynergy can bring these numbers to life. Together we can use these numbers to help you plan strategically and have a better view of the SEASONS for your business.