During the COVID19 pandemic, GP practices have not escaped the issues that most businesses are facing, particularly when it comes to ongoing cashflow requirements.
We are seeing that practices have had changes in their income streams, working differently with different staffing, and increased expenses due to buying PPE, when only some of which is reimbursed by the NHS. Even when it is reimbursed there can be a significant time lag between the expenditure being paid out and the reimbursement coming back in, so proper cash management is more important than ever.
Certain Enhanced Services income streams have been guaranteed for a period of time during the pandemic, but beyond that there is significant uncertainty around GP funding in the future.
So what can GP practices do to help combat these issues?
- Monitor income on a monthly basis and reconcile the income to claims to ensure all income is received when expected. Missing income and increased COVID expenditure could have a seriously adverse effect on cashflow.
- Review how staff are coding, as it is not uncommon for coding issues to cause a significant dip in income, which can be avoided with regular reviews and provide training where needed.
- Practices must also ensure claims for COVID expenditure as well as other reimbursable expenses are submitted on a timely basis to ensure the time lag for the reimbursement being received is as small as possible.
- Make sure Flu campaigns are prominent and call in patients as early as possible so they are not lost to other providers of the vaccine.
- Working practices have changed for GP Surgeries over the last few months, so make sure your workforce mix has adapted accordingly, as this may help to reduce unnecessary overtime and locum spend.
What can Ensors do to help?
- We can review income streams on the practices behalf and look to see where there are any potential gaps and potential missing income.
- We can do a general review of the practices cashflow to look for any anticipated shortfalls.
- We can review and recommend partners drawings based on profit projections.
- As part of AISMA (Association of Specialist Medical Accountants) we can benchmark practices against the AISMA averages (income, expenses and profits) which can give practices a good indication of where there is room for improvement or equally where they are outperforming the average.
- We can also prepare management accounts or six months accounts to review the practices profitability which will give partners early warning of any issues, as opposed to waiting until the year end accounts.
For further information on any of the above points or to discuss affairs generally, please contact Holly Gibson.