The healthcare industry is very competitive, thus maintaining a profitable practice can be difficult. However, there are common ways to increase profits for your practice, such as cutting down on staff, adjusting processes to increase efficiency, decreasing errors, and taking more appointments.
But, there is a careful balance when it comes to increasing profits; it’s not as simple as it seems. The health and happiness of the patients and your staff need to be taken into consideration.
Keeping the patient happy is essential to the success of your practice. If you cut back too far on staff, the waiting duration of your patients would become excessively long, resulting in losing those patients to practices that operate more efficiently. Thus, even though you will save on the cost of labor, you will lose appointments. Similarly, if you raise prices to the point that patients can no longer afford you, you will likely lose more than you gain.
When it comes to changes inside the practice, taking more appointments or introducing new processes can put a lot of strain on your staff. Many medical professionals already struggle to maintain work-life balance and experience burnout regularly.
If you have exhausted those options and are still struggling to increase profits, it is time to take a new approach. To help increase profits while providing excellent care for your patients and a healthy workplace for your staff, here are four tips to make your medical practice more profitable:
1. Improve Your Online Presence
The internet is an indispensable tool for marketing your practice and bringing in new patients. Not only do many people find care providers through web searches, but your website is an excellent opportunity to display your skill and provide basic information to your audience.
Create a well-designed and fast website so patients can learn about your practice, your staff, operating hours, locations, and have access to other pertinent information. Through your website, you also allow patients to manage appointments or access their medical charts.
Social media is another easy way to create a more robust online presence. If your practice is not yet on social media, set up profiles on famous platforms, like Facebook or Twitter. Your social media profile takes only minutes to set up, and you can begin engaging with the public in a whole new way.
You can post pertinent information, like the hours of operation or the unique services that you offer, regularly on these platforms. You can also spotlight your staff by posting their picture and a bit about their skills. Doing so can help new patients feel more comfortable or help existing patients feel more confident in your practice.
2. Offer Telehealth Appointments
Telehealth services include consultations over the phone or via video call. People in remote areas or those who have difficulty traveling outside of their homes become potential new patients for your practice. Thus, offering telehealth services can draw in business that you would not otherwise be able to reach.
Telehealth appointments can happen during business hours or can be done after hours from a remote location. The beauty of these appointments is that neither the patient nor the care provider has to be in the office. Instead of traveling for emergency consultations outside of business hours, some situations can be handled with a simple video call. This allows care providers to keep more of their free time to themselves.
With other medical practices offering such a convenient service to patients, both nearby and in remote areas, you need to consider it as an option. If not, you’ll most likely lose patients to other practices that go the extra mile to provide great service.
3. Negotiate Your Reimbursement Rate
Negotiating payer contracts for a better reimbursement rate is a great way to increase profits for your practice, without interfering with the patients’ experience or day-to-day operations. Despite the clear advantages of this strategy, many doctors don’t bother to negotiate contracts with third-party payers.
When you first opened your practice, you may not have prioritized negotiating insurance reimbursement rates because you simply wanted to get your practice started. Now that things are established and there’s less of a strain on time, contact those payers and renegotiate.
If you’re just starting your practice, negotiating these terms from the beginning is a good idea. However, you may not get the results you want simply because you don’t have the history to prove to payers that your practice will be successful.
With some data to back the success of your practice, negotiating for better reimbursement rates will be easier. Ideally, you will be able to show that your practice is growing, that your specialty is in-demand and underrepresented in your area, and that you have good clinical outcomes. These factors will show the payer that negotiating with you is a worthwhile endeavor.
4. Prioritize Patient Loyalty
Prioritizing the happiness of your patients is a simple yet very effective strategy to make your practice more profitable. When new patients are happy with the care that they received, they will come back again and become recurring patients. They will also bring family members, recommend your practice to friends, and be hesitant to leave should there be one or two negative experiences along the way.
New patients mean more paperwork, more time, and more money. While gaining new patients is important, the cost of constantly getting new patients is much higher than simply retaining the patients that you already have. Thus, provide excellent service at every opportunity in order to build loyalty from your existing patients.
It’s easy to become too focused on lowering expenses and increasing profits. However, it is important that this goal doesn’t overshadow the needs of your patients. Prioritize patient loyalty first and then look for other ways to increase profits that will not interfere with their experience.
Making your practice more profitable without sacrificing the patients’ needs or the staff’s work-life balance is difficult, but not impossible. Use these tips to help you increase profits while keeping those involved in your practice happy and healthy.