ASC Benchmarking 101
Benchmarking is critical to ASC revenue cycle success. Here are some key definitions and points to know to get your benchmarking efforts moving in the right direction.
External benchmarking is a comparison of financial data from your ASC to other surgery centers. External benchmarking gives you an idea of how your center is performing as compared to other centers. External benchmarking will be most helpful when you can compare your performance to similar centers (e.g., specialties, case volume, procedure type, market).
Internal benchmarking is comparing financial data within your own center, usually on a monthly basis. Internal benchmarking of your center helps you to pinpoint problems quickly so that corrective action can be taken sooner rather than at year's end when the damage caused by the error may already be significant and possibly irreversible.
Examples of data (indicators) to benchmark are:
Average charge per case
Average reimbursement per case
Expenses (direct and indirect)
Net collection percentage
Number of days in A/R
Average days to bill
The information necessary for you to compute indicators for internal benchmarking come mainly from your accounting records and ASC software system. Your accounting records will supply payroll amounts, expenses, profit margins, overhead expenses, etc. Your ASC software system will supply case information, charges, adjustments, collections, etc.
Information for external benchmarking that will allow you to compare your center to other like centers will come from resources offered by the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, VMG Health (Intellimarker) and possibly your state ASC organization.
Internal benchmarking can also be used as a tool for measuring quality control, such as timeliness and accuracy in pre- and post-procedure revenue cycle tasks (scheduling, insurance verification, patient financial counseling, coding, billing, collections, payment posting).