Practical Ways to Boost Your Medical Practice Revenue
A profitable practice keeps patients, providers, and practice managers happy. But building a profitable practice can seem like a herculean task. It doesn’t have to be, though. There are many practical and easy-to-implement ways to boost your practice revenue.
Of course, the easiest way to increase revenue is to enroll more patients. But this often requires an investment in space, equipment, and staff, something that is not possible for every practice. Here are some ways for providers to increase their revenue with the resources they already have:
- Preventive Care: You can boost practice revenue by offering additional services such as preventive care. Whereas it is unethical to perform tests or prescribe treatments with the sole objective of increasing revenue, it is perfectly fine to offer services that will benefit the future health of your patients and prevent chronic conditions from progressing to the point that they cause serious complications. For patients with chronic medical conditions, preventive medicine can help reduce the frequency of clinic visits and hospital admissions. For healthy patients, preventive care can help with early diagnosis and timely treatment of potentially serious medical conditions.
- Medications: Medical practices are allowed to sell certain medications for a profit. This seemingly inconsequential measure can actually have a measurable positive impact on your practice revenue. A pain management clinic, for example, could retail the Biofreeze pain spray/gel for up to twice the bulk purchase price. This offers convenience to your patients as they have to make fewer trips to the clinic and pharmacy. Other examples include a podiatrist’s office offering wound care products and bursitis/plantar fasciitis pads for a small profit.
- Ancillary Services: When a medical practice offers imaging services and other noninvasive investigations on site, it can boost practice revenue with a relatively small investment. For example, ultrasound imaging is non-radiating, less expensive than other modalities such as MRI, and requires an initial investment of only about $10,000. A happy coincidence is that such services lead to better patient satisfaction due to the convenience of receiving these studies at the practice itself. Other ways to expand services include offering medical massage and chiropractic care, offering the services of a nutritionist, or running a wellness clinic.
- Collections: With consumer-directed plans becoming more popular, the low premiums and high deductibles mean patients are liable for a greater amount of their initial healthcare costs, which can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. This increases the likelihood of overdue payments and makes it important for your practice to put processes in place to collect money from patients at the time of the encounter itself. Front desk staff should receive training on how to accomplish this and ensure that overdue co-payments do not make a dent in the practice revenue.
- Patients: The worst thing for your bottom line is when patients leave the practice due to dissatisfaction with services received. Long waiting times are frequently reported as a reason for discontent. You can ensure you retain your patients by:
- Creating a welcoming environment at the practice
- Offering extended practice hours
- Engaging with patients on social media
- Permitting multiple modes of payment
- Using technology such as a user-friendly patient portal, text reminders, virtual visits, and online appointment booking
- Forging partnerships, for example with a local gym offering a discount to your patients
The rules and regulations of the Healthcare Reform Act have had a considerable impact on the revenue of smaller medical practices even though the Act does not directly address reimbursement. Providers must find innovative ways to boost practice revenue and get creative if they want to keep their heads above water without working themselves and their staff to exhaustion.