Owning a private practice comes with its fair share of struggle. From maintaining licenses and certifications to everyday business operations. And on top of those things, the practice must still bring in revenue to succeed. Here are a few ways to increase revenue within a private practice.
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Focus on Coding Procedures
With all the various systems being used in medical offices today, coding errors can come up. It’s important to have procedures in place in case that does happen. Wrong codes can lead to incorrectly billed procedures, which directly affects your patient.
An example of a coding error could be someone coming in for a preventative visit, but the code was for a regular appointment. So that patient gets billed for an expensive visit despite insurance covering preventative care.
So, putting more energy towards your medical coding procedures to ensure accuracy and proper training can be a huge factor in retaining patients in your private practice. It can also ensure billing is accurate across the board.
Implement a Cancellation Policy
One way to ensure payment is to implement a cancellation policy for no-shows. Some practices will put a 24, 48, or even 72-hour cancellation window where patients will be allowed to cancel their appointment up to a certain time, but anything after or if they don’t show up, they will be charged for the appointment. No-shows also throw off the schedule of the day and majorly affects profitability.
Without a cancellation policy, patients may more frequently be inclined to not show up for appointments or cancel very close to the appointment time. Imagine if one patient per day was a no-show — that adds up to a lot of missed opportunities for other patients to be seen and takes away valuable time from the people working in your practice, negatively affecting revenue.
Boost Training Employees
Customer service is key in any business, especially in private practice. Everyone from the front desk employees to the nurses and doctors leaves an impression on your business.
Everyone from the doctors providing care to the staff checking them in need to act as representatives of the business and thus carry themselves politely and professionally. . By vetting who you hire for positions such as the front desk by choosing those highly experienced in customer service and those who have worked in healthcare environments can only add positively to the service you provide to your patients.
Develop a Solid Business Plan and Review Often
A business plan is a detailed documentation of how you will operate and run your business, essentially. Things to include in your business plan are;
- A brief history of what led you to open your private practice
- A basic business concept (what you intend to do)
- A market analysis of the area and demand for your business
- A detailed outline of your service plan and/or specialty
- Who your target market or customer is (in this case, patients needing care for your specialty)
- Short and Long-term business goals
- A competitive analysis
- Key staff and list of potential providers or partners
- Financial needs and analysis to receive loans
- How you plan to make money + a detailed budget
- A marketing plan + budget
- A list of licensures and certifications
This is just a small bit of what you may want to include in your business plan. Your business plan not only helps you to get approved for loans and other funding for your practice, but it can be used as a tool to ensure you stay true to your initial intentions. Your business plan should be the true basis of your entire practice and a reference tool for any new or potential partners and staff coming into the business. Keep it true to you, and review and update the analysis throughout the year.
Review and/or Cut Marketing Expenses
Small businesses can often have trouble balancing their marketing budget, either going far over or not utilizing it enough. A detailed marketing analysis can help sort this out. By regularly reviewing your marketing spend, you can see where it’s worth investing and where it’s not. If you are pouring money into online Facebook ads but you aren’t getting anyone to click through to your website via those ads, it may be time to cut that expense.
One way to help analyze your marketing expenses is to include a questionnaire on new patient forms. Every new patient has to fill out a form with their information when coming in for their first appointment. At the bottom of the form, you could ask how they found out about you. You can offer selections such as social media platforms, family member or friend, an online ad, a radio commercial, or any other marketing format you have been investing in. Tally those and determine the best, most effective way that people were finding out about your clinic. This direct feedback can help you boost revenue by cutting costs where you need to based on the ROI.
Reduce Operating Costs
Owning a private practice can be costly, and is why many doctors choose to work at hospitals. The amount of operating costs is a lengthy list. Operating costs include everything from staff salaries to technologies, tools, sanitizing materials, internet, security systems, and more. Maintaining an accurate list of all operating costs can help when the time comes to reduce spending and streamline services.
Some things that are considered operational costs include;
- Promotion and marketing
- Medical supplies
- Outside professional services
- Liability Insurance
- Other insurance
- Information systems
- Business and property taxes
- Furniture and medical equipment
- Office rent or mortgage
- Office supplies
- Employee payroll
Cutting unnecessary operating costs can be a huge contributor to increasing revenue in private practice. It’s important to pay attention to the highest operational costs and reduce the ones that are not vital to your business.
Utilize Social Media
Social media platforms can be free marketing for your business, and you would be remiss to not utilize them as such. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great ways to gain outreach to your local community. You can promote specials or donation drives you are holding across all platforms. People love to engage via social media and if you can make those platforms fun and interactive, you can gain a following which could potentially attract new patients.
Make the Move to Electronic Records Only
A great way to boost revenue is cutting costs on paper, storage, filing by making the shift towards electronic records and forms. Intake documents can be sent and filled out online so patients never have to print anything or bring anything with them, and they are automatically entered into the system. You can have an iPad or other tablet device for all sign-ins and confidentiality agreements, etc.
By moving to electronic records, there is no need to mail anything out, file anything, or scan documents into the system. This can not only save time and money but is far more convenient than other physical paper processes.
Outsource Administrative Tasks
Smaller practices will often outsource administrative tasks like claims processing, data capture, and billing to save on operational costs in-house. Outsourcing these tasks saves space, saves on payroll expenses, and the entire claims process.
Smart Data Solutions handles mailroom management, claims processing, data capture, and other administrative tasks that some practices can’t handle in-house. We love to help providers streamline their solutions. To learn more about how outsourcing can help boost your internal revenue, contact us at (651) 894-6400 today!