5 Practical Ways to increase revenue in Primary Care
Doctors are not usually known as wanting or needing to increase revenue for survival. Yet with payment models changing and physician reimbursements declining, many medical practices are trying to do more with less.
For physicians looking to increase revenue, there are many options.
However not all are practical or appealing. From our experience working together with primary care physician here are 5 practical methods to help increase revenue.
1) Look at your outsourcing for opportunities
Sometimes to increase revenue, you need to think outside the box in terms of regular primary care services you can offer.
According to Healthcare Accountant Reed Tinsley, “You could be making money on each service you’ve been referring out. Your prescriptions are filled by the pharmacy, patients with back pain go to physical therapists, and blood tests go to a reference lab. If you did this work in-house, you would be able to boost your income, provide patients with one-stop services, and have greater control over the care you provide.”
Some typical areas to consider are:
– Physical Therapy
– Allergy Therapy
– Weight Loss Services
– Laboratory Tests
– Diabetes Counseling Services
– In House Medication Dispensing
– Med Spa Services
Important note: Although potential income is important, the opportunity cost may not always be worth it. Before adopting any new services, physicians should perform a study of both feasibility and to understand the added expenses and compliance requirements.
2) Reduce or eliminate paperwork
Implementing an Electronic Health Record can help to greatly reduce the amount of paperwork in your clinic. Transitioning your EOB and intake documents to an electronic format can also reduce the amount of paper printing. As well as this, having this data entered electronically by the patient means that your team saves time on data entry and filing.
3) Analyze and Adjust your Patient Mix
You might want to take a look over your patient visits for the past 3 months to understand the mix. Are they primarily fee-for-service (FFS) or capitated?
According to Healthcare Consultant Rochelle Gassman, “If you have 70% Fee-For-Service (FFS) and 30% capitated your schedule should reflect that, and you should triage patients accordingly as well.
Try to schedule capitated patients only in your blocked capitated spaces while leaving same day and extended hours open for FFS patients. Don’t book capitated patients in the same-day slots unless necessary. You don’t want to lose the revenue from FFS patients, and they may go elsewhere if they can’t get in to see you promptly.”
4) Avoid overpaying or overstocking
One area where doctors and clinic managers can make significant savings is through renegotiating with vendors. If you have a reasonable request for a better rate, most vendors will find creative ways to save you money while still delivering value. This is sometimes simply a case of ‘you don’t get if you don’t ask’.
Another option is to work directly with a group purchasing organization to bundle your purchases. Finally, be aware of how much product you’re using and when so you avoid overstocking or automated ordering.
5) Incorporate Virtual Patients via Telemedicine
Many physicians are now looking outside the walls of their clinic to increase revenue. Thanks to the technology advancements, telemedicine is now a viable option for many primary care clinics.
This is a real opportunity for increasing income, according to Dr Sudip Bose, “Through telemedicine, physicians can potentially receive direct payments from the patient without having to go through insurance prior to the virtual visit. The added convenience for both the patient and the doctor is a bonus.”
Want to Read More?
Ancillary Services That Can Boost Practice Revenue by Medscape
15 Ways to Increase Revenue without cutting Staff by MGMA