9 Tips to Increase Medical Practice Revenue
In today’s competitive healthcare space, as you’re dealing with crushing administrative burden and rising operating costs, you need every tool at your disposal to keep your practice profitable. The strategies we’ve included below can have a powerful impact on your bottom line, with just a little bit of time or cost investment.
Take a look and decide which tactics would work best for your practice. Evaluate where some of your potential areas of improvement are (inefficient appointment calendar? High staff turnover? Patients leaving because of long wait times?), and attack them head-on with these tips.
Build an Online Presence
If you don’t already have a practice website or any kind of online presence, you’re falling behind. With 72% of patients now consulting the internet for healthcare information and 62% using online reviews to find new doctors, your online presence is crucial. Chances are, if you’re not online, many new patients aren’t finding you.
Besides building a beautiful practice website, there are a few other things you should do. Submit your practice to online directories, create your profile on the major review sites, and get a social media profile up for your practice. All these steps will help you come up in search results – plus your current patients will be delighted that you’re online.
Improve Your Patient Collection Strategy
Patient collections is an ongoing headache for many doctors, especially with the rising number of patients on high deductible insurance plans. 20% of most medical practices’ revenue comes from patient co-pays, and yet most physicians only collect 60% of what’s due. If it’s a huge hurdle for your practice, it could be worth it to hire a collection agency. Otherwise, you may want to re-evaluate your overall collections strategy and make some of these changes to your billing practices.
Offer After-hours Virtual Visits
Ok, everyone knows that doing after-hours patient visits can increase revenue. It just makes sense – you can fit more appointments into a day, compete with nearby practices that are only open 9-5pm, and keep patients in your practice with convenient scheduling options. Of course, if you’re like most doctors, you’re probably looking for a little more work-life balance and don’t want to work after-hours. But what if you could offer afterhours visits from your home? What if you could replace those after-hours urgent patient calls you already get with reimbursable video visits? With this change you could increase your patients, recapture lost revenue from uncompensated time, and maintain work-life balance.
Motivate Your Staff
Your staff are your most valuable resource. Take a cue from Southwest and adopt the policy that happier employees means happier patients. Give your staff positive feedback and encouragement every day. Give them a voice in the practice goings-on, appoint them head of a project, try one-on-one meetings to check-in…there are many key ways to inspire your staff to give every day their all. Check out our list of motivation strategies.
Use Your Extenders
Even if you’re a smaller practice, you probably have a couple physician assistants or nurse practitioners on staff. Make sure they’re operating at the top of their skill-set as much as possible. Have them handle quick, urgent patient requests and conditions so patients can get in for same-day treatment when your schedule is packed. The more they’re doing tasks at the top of their pay-level – the more revenue you’ll be bringing in (and the happier they’ll be).
Build a Better Appointment Schedule
Optimizing an appointment schedule is one of those projects that seems a fine balance of art and science. How do you keep your patient flow up without getting bottlenecks and long wait times? How do you keep appointment wait times down and allow same-day walk-ins?
Besides trying out a few of these tips, making a change to providing virtual visits can help you address these issues. Virtual patient visits can be more flexible, since patients can simply login online from wherever they are. If you have a last-minute no-show or happen to have a 10-minute timeslot open in your day, you can get online and start a virtual visit – and lose no time. Plus, unlike a usual walk-in, the patient doesn’t have to wait around in the office until you’re free. Minor, urgent care needs will no longer send your patients to the nearest retail clinic for treatment.
Renegotiate Your Payer Contracts
Believe it or not, many doctors don’t ever bother to renegotiate their payer contracts to increase their fee schedules. But you can! If you have the data to show that your practice is getting great care outcomes in a cost-effective way, you have leverage to go back to payers and ask for a pay raise. While you can do this on your own, you may want to consider finding a qualified healthcare business consultant to help you make your case. The ROI will be well worth the cost.
Reduce Missed Appointments
No-shows and late cancels can cost your practice tens of thousands of dollars each year. And the truth is – there’s only so much you can do when patients need to take time off work, or find a babysitter, or drive through traffic to get to your office. While little things like adding a cancellation policy with a fee can help, offering patients a way to do virtual visits from their home can be really effective. If patients don’t need to brave traffic, or take time off to see you, they’re much less likely to skip their appointments.
Consider a Concierge Model
For some doctors, especially those with a high Medicaid population, concierge may not be an option. But for many other physicians, transitioning to concierge can be a great way to ramp up revenue while dropping some of your administrative burden. Converting to a concierge practice is no small project, but it can have huge payoffs. If you want to learn more, check out our articles on FAQS about transition to concierge, top 7 resources for concierge doctors, and our on-demand webinar on How to Become a Concierge Doctor.
Want to learn how to make an additional $21,000 per provider, per year? Chat with us about our simple telemedicine solution for providers. ROI included.