It’s important to be aware your CODB (Cost of Doing Business) so you’ll know how much it costs you for each hour of service you provide. Since, as a Medicaid-funded provider, you’re not allowed to set pricing for people served, the struggle to keep CODB below the reimbursement rate is very real. The Focused Software team is dedicated to ensuring that you’re well informed about how much your old-school paper charts are adding to your CODB. Paper may seem like good value but we’ve done our research, and the results are shocking!
Let’s look a little further into the true costs of maintaining a paper chart system. I already informed you that a paper-based system typically consumes about 10,000 sheets of paper per staff member per year (that’s two cases of copy paper per employee – for ALL employees, not just in the office). How many people do you employ? If the cheapest paper I can find costs $15 per case (Office Depot, by the way – it’s on sale), and I have only 20 employees, that adds up to $600.
Now, let’s consider what it takes to PRINT on all that paper. A printer/copier is the most cost-effective option: at around 8 cents/page, printing 10,000 sheets costs $800 (don’t forget to add in the copier lease, service agreement and/or toner costs). If any of your offices use laser or inkjet printers, the cost goes up to around 12 cents/page, or $1200 (unless you print in color, in which case it’s closer to 20 cents/page, or $2000). Remember, these printing costs are PER EMPLOYEE. For the same 20 employees I mentioned above, we’ve just added $16,000 – $40,000 per year! How many of the people you serve could go to camp for that much money? How about a raise for your dedicated Direct Support Staff? There are infinitely more rewarding ways to spend your hard-earned money than on paper and ink! How could savings of this magnitude affect your bottom line and contribute to value added activity in your business?
We also looked into how much you’re paying to store all the paper required of IDD provider agencies. Current estimates show that 50-70% of office space is solely dedicated to storage of paper charts or documentation, with 80% being duplicated paper that is never accessed again. (Even worse, a study by Xerox found that almost 50% of all office papers are discarded on the same day they were printed.) The current average cost of office space in the U.S. is about $20 per square foot. That means the floor space for one 5-drawer file cabinet costs roughly $60/month, or $720/year. How many file cabinets are in your office? If the average office uses 50-70% of space for storage… you can see where we’re going with this…
While I don’t imagine you’ll downsize and move to a smaller office, don’t forget that I’ve been in your shoes, and I’ve signed those exorbitant bills for off-site storage facilities (and I’ve waded through head-high stacks of paper boxes trying to find old documentation). With Focused Software, all your documentation is available at the touch of a button. It’s encrypted and secure, and because we guarantee server redundancy (we have servers on both sides of the country), it’s always safe – even when there’s a hurricane or flood!
P.S. I didn’t even mention the price of folders, dividers, or binders — or the intense frustration you feel when the 5″ heavy-duty binder won’t close correctly, or snaps shut on your hand. You’re welcome. 🙂
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