The health care industry is becoming more competitive every year. With rising costs for day-to-day operations and an overwhelming administrative burden, your medical practice needs to use every means possible to stay profitable. Here are five of the most important ways to increase medical practice revenue.
1. Create a Great Online Presence
One of the top recommendations for how to increase medical practice revenue is to have a website for your office. It allows people to get more information on the type of medicine you practice, your qualifications, and other pertinent information they want to know.
Your website should be clean and modern. If you already have a site but haven’t updated it in a few years, give it a face-lift. Always keep the information provided on the site up to date. Outdated information and a drab design are definite turnoffs. Include some photos of yourself and the office staff. Avoid stock photos because they look fake and impersonal.
While your website is critical, your online presence needs to include much more. To increase medical practice revenue, patients should see you as a confident expert in your field. Write a blog that contains information your patients need to know about. Add a resource page with useful links and articles. Use social media to engage with people and to send appointment reminders.
People love convenience, so make it easy to set appointments and pay bills online. Provide downloadable forms for new patients. Give people a way to communicate by email. The easier you make it for individuals to do things for themselves, the happier they will be. Plus, it will be that much easier on you and your staff.
2. Use Your Extension Staff Wisely
Most practices these days have nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants on staff. Make sure you use their skills to the fullest. It’s an effective way to keep your appointment schedule full.
Let them handle the minor day-to-day work-in appointments. Patients can get seen quickly and effectively, which makes them happy. Your extension staff is busy and using their skills, which makes them feel useful. All the while, you have the time to spend with other patients without having to run from one room to another.Everyone’s happier, and your revenue gets a positive boost.
3. Offer Flexibility for Patient Appointments
Many of your patients live busy lives. They have kids to raise, jobs to perform, and everyday life to deal with. Sometimes, they get overwhelmed and forget an appointment, or they just have something come up that prevents them from coming at that time. You probably see the effect of this in a significant percentage of missed or canceled appointments.
People love flexibility when it comes to making appointments, especially if they work during the week. When the doctor’s office is only open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., it’s difficult for many people to get there without missing work.
Offer early morning, late afternoon/evening, or weekend appointments. Open the office at 7 a.m. for before-work appointments, or stay open until 7 p.m. for after-work appointments. Have Saturday morning hours for families with kids. People are less likely to miss an appointment if it is at a more convenient time for them.
Virtual visits are also one of the most effective ways to increase medical practice revenue; they don’t require a doctor and a patient to be in the same room. A virtual visit allows you to talk with your patient and see what’s happening. Many times, you can even send a prescription to their pharmacy or recommend over-the-counter medications for treatment.
These virtual visits tend to be quicker than in-office ones. They don’t require staff to prepare a room and can be done between other patient visits. You can bill appropriately and move on to the next patient.
4. Renegotiate Payer Contracts
When was the last time you renegotiated your payer contracts? Many doctors never do it, or they did it three years ago and didn’t bother renegotiating each year since. If you are running on fees you negotiated more than a year ago, it’s time to renegotiate so you can increase medical practice revenue.
There are a number of reasons why the payer should consider raising the fees you receive. Have you added an EHR? They benefit, so you should, too. Are your HEDIS measures improving? That reflects well on the payer and helps them gain customers. You should benefit as well. Are you seeing more patients because you added a new doctor or extension staff? Ask for a “raise” from your payer.
Another reason to ask for more money is that your costs are always rising. You deserve a cost-of-doing-business raise just for that reason. It’s a cornerstone of how to increase medical practice revenue.
Make sure you’re getting paid appropriately for ancillary services like labs and X-rays. Getting a default 42% of Medicare isn’t enough for in-house services. Ask for at least 100% of Medicare, especially if they are paid 120%.
5. Make Your Office More Than It Currently Is
People like doing things that are easy. If they can go to one place for multiple things, it’s a major reason to pick that particular location over any other one. One of the easiest ways to increase medical practice revenue is to expand your services. That way, patients can get more done in a single visit.
If you treat adults with young children, adding a pediatric specialist to your practice might make sense. Add a physician’s assistant who can handle standard exams or prescribe antibiotics in a mini-clinic setting. This could help you compete against urgent care centers. Offer direct-pay options for those without insurance. This works well in areas with high levels of unemployment.
Offer a nonmedical service that complements your practice. For example, add an esthetician to your dermatology practice or a massage therapist to your orthopedic practice. An on-staff nutritionist is good for an endocrinologist’s office or a weight-loss clinic.
Also, stock up on products that compliment your practice. High-quality skincare products are a natural choice for a dermatologist’s office. Orthopedic inserts are good for a podiatrist’s practice. Eyewear is a perfect offering for an optometrist’s clinic.
These are five of the best ways you can increase revenue for your medical practice. Each one has the potential to make a major impact on your bottom line. Now that you know how to increase medical practice revenue, why not get started today?
At MedEffect, we have the resources that can help you increase your practice’s revenue and stay profitable.