No matter what type of healthcare business or medical practice you have, you will be able to benefit from most of these revenue enhancers and cost cutting ideas.
Strategize Patient Collections
There is an increasing number of patients on high deductible insurance plans. One quarter of most medical practice revenue comes from patient co-pays, but only 60% of what’s due gets collected. Studies show when patients are informed of their responsibilities and asked to pay at the time of service, collection rates rise substantially. Make changes to your billing practices if you are invoicing small amounts by snail mail. Consider a payment portal on your website, and read our prior article on maximizing collections here: Physician Secrets For Maximizing Patient Collections
Most of you already have a practice website, but if you don’t have a social media presence, you’re falling behind your competition. 72% of patients now check out the internet for healthcare information and 62% are using online reviews to find new doctors, including facebook. An online presence is crucial to new patients finding you and your practice. Don’t forget to create or claim your profile on the major review sites like Vitals or Healthgrades. This will help your practice pop up in search results.
Virtual Visits Have Value
Every medical or healthcare office experiences those seasonal scheduling nightmares! To replace lost revenue, consider telehealth which may or may not include clinical services. It covers the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management and/or self-management of a patient and is reimbursable. Patients frozen out of the waiting room can now be accommodated, as well as the homebound who cannot get in to see you. Replace those after-hours urgent patient phone calls with reimbursable skype virtual visits! Read our prior article on increasing revenue with digital healthcare here: Telemedicine – What’s Driving Digital Healthcare?
Use Your Mid-Level Providers
Even small practices generally have a physician assistant or nurse practitioner on staff. Let them use and build their skill-set as much as possible – it is a great motivator. Having them handle quick patient requests and less complex conditions can get more patients in the door when your schedule is full. The more they’re doing at their pay grade – the more revenue you’ll be bringing in at less cost. Don’t have a PA or NP? You may want to consider hiring one after reading this article: What To Consider If You Are Considering Mid-Level Non-Physician Providers
Cut Down on No-Shows and Missed Appointments
No-shows and last minute cancellations can cost your practice thousands of dollars. Invest in an app that sends reminders out to cell phones about appointments. Installing a plug-in for your website with a patient scheduler may be helpful. Add a cancellation policy and charge a fee to let patients know you will not tolerate less than 24 hour notice.
Annually Renegotiate Your Payor Contracts
Every year you should renegotiate your payor contracts to increase fee schedules. Track the data that shows your practice is getting great care outcomes in a cost-effective way, and you have the leverage to tell payors you deserve a raise. Hiring a qualified healthcare business advisor to assist with this initiative is well worth the cost.
Consider a Direct Payment Model
A direct payment model allows healthcare providers to deal with patients directly for payment, cutting out the insurance payors along with the red tape. This model, an alternative to fee-for-service insurance billing, typically charges patients a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee that covers all or most primary care services including clinical, laboratory, consultative services, along with care coordination and comprehensive care management. Advantages to physicians are the reduction of documentation requirements, prior authorization, electronic health records and burdensome desk duties known to contribute to doctor burnout. Advantages to patients include substantial savings, and a greater degree of access to and time with their physicians. This is not the same as “concierge care!” Find out more here: Direct Primary Care Payment Model Has Distinct Advantages
Work environment has a big impact on a provider’s empathy, focus, stress levels and overall performance. Keeping up with technology changes is important to your success. For healthcare, advances like electronic health records, cloud hosting and security software are critical pieces of the ability to care for patients. Does your system need a tune up? A change of carrier? Is your staff is always complaining about slow systems, hardware that’s down, and frequent stoppage and interruptions to workflow? It may be time to outsource your IT and tech support for more efficiency, especially if your staff is always waiting for it to work. After all – “time is money!”
Examine Expenses Quarterly
Taking a regular look at your financial statements will allow you to spot overhead items that appear to be out of line or a drag on the bottom line. Look at what you are paying for copiers, postage machines, paper and office supplies. Don’t be afraid to shop around when your lease is up or move to sharing a single networked printer for everyone at your office rather than maintaining — and buying ink — for multiple printers. Ask vendors for discounts on shredding services, cleaning services, disposal services, and even basic medical supplies like gowns, gloves, etc. Look at kitchen items like water and coffee and snacks for staff, often there are savings to be had buying in bulk or from warehouse clubs. Very often the local Chamber of Commerce or Medical Society offers discounts for members on things like insurance, supplies, business services, etc.
Search for someone to share or lease that extra office space, it will generate income but could also initiate a synergistic relationship that yields new clients. Think of an esthetician if you are a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, massage if you are a chiropractor. Adding services may make a lot of sense if you have a loyal patient base. Depending on your practice, you could offer weight management and nutrition counseling for example. If you have the space and staff, consider adding a complementary line of facial products, nutritional supplements, medical tech accessories, etc. We have some more great ideas here: If You are Looking for More Profitability Look into Adding Product Lines
Join the Local Medical Society
Not only will you get discounts on insurance and office supplies, but you get FREE advertising in the form of a directory with public access, and a chance to network at events with peers who might refer you a patient. Just like folks check out the local Bar Association when looking for a lawyer, many tend to go to the local Medical Society to find a doctor practicing locally in a certain specialty.
Know the Numbers
Do you have an idea of what your revenue per patient is? What your revenue per employee is? Do you have a monthly, quarterly, or annual budget? Might be time to call in a healthcare accountant who is also a business and financial advisor. Did you know that building a better budget can boost your practice’s performance? Your practice’s budget is a tool that tracks your revenue and expenditures, but also helps you plan for the future. When it comes time to make decisions about adding or reducing staff, moving to new space or purchasing/leasing new equipment, your budget will be invaluable in helping identify which options will work best and when. Your budget can also provide warning signs of financial trouble or suspected fraud, and make big changes less disruptive to cash flow. See why else it is important here: Budgeting For The Health Of Your Medical Practice
Spending money on energy efficient office and medical equipment and using “green” technology often comes with a rebate as well as lower electric bills. Motion-sensor interior light switches are not expensive, yet save plenty $$$. Having staff turn computers to energy saving settings at night save lots $$$ over time.
Hire an Intern
Need an extra set of hands? Hire a college student or senior-soon-to-be-grad who wants to discover the healthcare industry, examine a practice niche up close before picking a major, or learn the ropes of running a practice. They can start with basic administrative tasks that are overwhelming your staff. Lower your labor costs and make your staff smile, while you inspire and mentor a future healthcare practitioner!
Contact Us: Building a budget, being aware of excess expenditures, and actively looking for ways to add revenue and cut costs can make you more efficient and save your medical practice money. Our healthcare CPAs and medical accounting professionals have the perfect prescription for you and your practice to be more profitable. Let’s have an honest conversation about your current situation and financial goals so we can help to minimize the surprises and maximize your cash flow – then help you keep more of that newly found profit in your pocket. Contact us toll free at 855-534-2727.