Reviewing financial outcomes for Medicare-funded clinics

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Supporting community health to maintain viable Medicare-funded clinics.

 

Client context: Latrobe Community Health Service (LCHS) is one of Australia’s fastest growing health services with multiple sites across Gippsland and Melbourne.

As part of a commitment to expanding the accessibility of primary care to the communities it serves, LCHS operates general practices at a number of sites including Morwell, Traralgon and Melbourne. LCHS has also established allied health services that are funded through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), private health insurance, full fee paying and other Commonwealth funding sources.

Larter Consulting has previously supported LCHS in the establishment of a general practice at the LCHS Morwell site. As part of this work in 2011, Larter established a five year budget in close partnership with the management team.

Challenge: LCHS engaged Larter to conduct a review of its Morwell, Traralgon and Melbourne clinics’ financial outcomes, with reference to its initial budget projections.

Response: The project comprised three key steps undertaken by Larter:

  • Conducted a review of the financial outcomes of LCHS GP clinics and MBS-funded allied health services in Morwell, Traralgon and Melbourne.
  • Compared LCHS budget inputs and outcomes against benchmarked financial outcomes for private GP clinics and against intelligence about other community health services’ clinic outcomes. This included investigating:
    • When looking at actuals, were there any areas where the clinics or specific clinicians were not meeting budgetary targets or were not in line with industry benchmarks?
    • Is the right mix of MBS items being claimed?
    • Is the combination of fee structure and patient throughput sufficient to break even at a minimum?
    • Are service utilisation and fail-to-attend rates reasonable?

Larter developed a report incorporating our assessment of LCHS’ progress and any opportunities to improve financial outcomes.

Outcome: Larter developed a report including a number of recommendations, which were presented to the LCHS Board. The presentation and report was well received, with the Board agreeing with the recommendations provided.

Larter are experts on MBS, billings and financial analyses within the primary health care sector. Find out more about the range of services we provide for community health services.

 

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LCHS approached Larter Consulting to conduct a review of our Morwell, Traralgon and Melbourne clinics financial outcomes using out initial budget projections as a reference.

We found Peter and his team to be very professional and thorough. The report that they provided to us was comprehensive and was well received by our Board. Larter Consulting provided us with valuable insight into the billings of our practice and we are confident that their recommendations will help drive the clinics to further future success.

LCHS would highly recommend Larter Consulting.

Rachel Strauss
Executive Director Primary Care, La Trobe Community Health Service