For many small practices, it can be challenging to know what data to track. Luckily, there are key performance indicators to gage how your practice is doing and identify any problems when it comes to billing and coding. Here are a few things that might be good to consider tracking at your practice:

Net collection rate
The net collection rate, often called the adjusted collection rate, is how much money your practice is being reimbursed for out of how much it is contractually allowed by the deals the practice has with the insurance companies. The net collection rate is used to track the success of a practice through claims denied, uncollectible debt or other factors that hurt your collection rate. These things necessitate non-contractual adjustments, which will reduce the amount of money actually coming in.

The net collection rate is a good indicator of how your practice is doing overall and can point out other KPIs that you'll want to take a closer look at. In general, you want this rate to be around 95 percent at minimum. If you're consistently at 100 percent, it might be smart to double check that your calculations and data are right, because no medical practice should be at 100 percent all of the time. 

Time between date of care and date billed
The amount of time between the date that the patient received care and the date the bill was filed should be as minimal as possible. The net collection rate can actually alert you that there might be a problem with the amount of time between patient care and billing. If you notice a lot of non-contractual adjustments, you may want to take a closer look at the average length of time between when the patient was treated and when they were billed. 

Denied claims due to improper coding and front-office mistakes
You should also look at denied claims due to improper coding and front-office errors. Medical billing and coding issues happen more than doctors realize. When too many mistakes happen, your practice can suffer financially. If you identify that there are too many errors occurring, stress greater communication between employees or consider automating certain aspects of the billing process with a software solution. 

Days in receivables outstanding
Days in receivables outstanding is another KPI that you should be utilizing to best understand how well your practice is doing. This is the number of days it takes to collect on receivables. In general this should be about 35 days for most medical work but some forms of medical work can take longer, according to the Medical Practice Management in the 21st Century: The Handbook. If the payment cycle takes 60 to 90 days, you might want to take a closer look and figure out what is slowing down the process.

Using the net collection rate as well as days in receivables outstanding will help you see the big picture, narrow things down and find the source of the problem.