The health industry is never in want of patients, but the industry is so competitive that it becomes necessary for managers and administrators like you to find ways to somehow increase revenue made in their practice. It’s okay. There are many ways to increase medical practice revenue that you can apply to your practice and in this article, we’ll look at seven of them that won’t cost you expensive upgrades. These are 7 ways to increase revenue that shouldn’t require extra money.
Evaluate Current Costs
It’s one thing to keep your staffing and occupancy costs in check, but it’s another to keep a handle on critical financial mistakes that are common throughout the practice. Two frequent examples of unnecessary expenditures are
- The failure to accurately verify recorded Insurance claim write-offs
- The failure to properly process charge reconciliations.
In addition to pinpointing where loss in revenue occurs, you should evaluate whether you have too large a facility for the number of providers you have. Is there almost 2000sqft of space for a single doctor? Downsize. This will automatically increase efficiency just by shortening the physical distance that practitioners have to travel.
You can also save money by reducing waste from your medical equipment and materials. Poor storage organization and inventory tracking lead to purchasing equipment and materials you didn’t actually need.
Identify Sources of Unproductivity
Improving yours and your staff’s productivity is essential in order to see as many patients as possible thus maintaining your revenue as much as possible. You can’t forget to have at least three means of measuring productivity. Common productivity metrics include,
- Left Without Being Seen (LWBS) rate
- Staff-to-patient ratio
- Number of mistake events
- The average number of patient rooms in use at a time
- Room turnover rate
- Patient wait time
Common areas that can usually be improved are the documentation, the lab, and the Electronic Health Recording system (EHR) departments. Work to minimize errant patient care documentation, analyze lab turnaround times and causes to find inefficiencies through their data, and update any hardware with client-server EHRs you have.
Increase Ancillary Services Offered
Versatility has always been a key factor in increasing revenue, regardless of the industry you’re in. The more services you offer, the wider the client base you can have and the fewer patients you need to serve to reach your income goal.
There has never been a better time to offer ancillary services as only ⅕ of doctors offer them. The practitioners that are usually able to offer these ancillary services are:
- Family doctors
- Orthopedic surgeons
- And OB or GYNs
Fantastic ancillary services revenue streams to include in your facility are
- Allergy testing
- Toxicology testing
- Medication dispensing
- Nutrition counseling
If you can’t offer any more ancillary services, consider gaining trained specialists into your building. Imagine a patient seeing one of your doctors and instead of being referred to another practitioner in town they make an appointment with your specialists.
Add New Patients
Naturally, one of the clearest ways to increase medical practice revenue is to get more patients. This isn’t always possible depending on how busy and backlogged your providers already are, but if you can improve the efficiency of scheduling patients into your offices you might find that you can add at least one new patient a day. Don’t forget the power of social media can bring awareness to your practice.
You never want to do this if you suspect the quality of your care will suffer by trying to squeeze in more patients, but you can make it manageable if you trickle in new patients instead of creating large influxes.
If you can’t add more patients during the week, opening the weekends up at least with half-days will be a welcome convenience for potential patients. Imagine the number of elderly parents whose working adult children can’t transport them until the weekend.
Increase Patient Engagement [in Their Health]
Your patients are the ones who bring your income in and create stability for your medical facility, so the following practices are vital.
Firstly, develop a patient engagement strategy. Patient engagement establishes trust and loyalty between your staff and your patients by supplying them with the knowledge they need to take their health into their own hands.
This encourages patients to be more aware and involved in their healthcare, causing more frequent appointments, tests, and examinations. Your staff can accomplish this by
- Assessing patient conditions and offering treatment plans
- Offering budget-friendly solutions to the patient
- Using patient portals
- Offer incentives to encourage patients to be health vigilant
Patient engagement also involves your staff being very attentive and caring to the patients. Body language and tone of voice are everything.
When your staff shows they care about their patients in their demeanor, education, and suggestions that ultimately benefit the patient, you create a loyal patient base that is willing to pay for preventative treatments with them, thus creating a steady stream of income.
Evaluate Insurance Claim Denials
You need to be able to effectively speed through the claiming process by minimizing claim denials and making your verification processes simple. This will prevent the loss of major revenue through the insurance companies. Factors that your practice can easily handle in order to avoid claim denials and loss of revenue include,
- Insufficient documentation
- Rebilling to a correct insurance type after initial denial adds cost by having to re-work claims.
- Coordination of Insurance Benefits
- And Investigational Procedures
You can simplify and speed up the patient insurance verification process by Making sure new patient forms contain questions like:
- Name of Insurance Company
- Name of Primary Insurance Plan Holder with relationship to patient
- Patient Insurance Policy Number and group ID number (if available)
- The Contact Information of the Insurance Company
Contact the insurance company or companies of the patient long before the patient’s scheduled appointment to have the information you need and to contact the patient if anything is amiss. If you can, Use automatic verification services wherever possible.
Finally, collect benefits information such as the following and keep it on record.
- Confirmation of patient address, policyholder, policy number, and group ID number.
- What the patient’s deductible is
- Patient copay and coinsurance
- Coverage limitations
- Is the practitioner the patient plans to see in- or out-of-network?
Anything the insurance company requires from your practice such as pre-authorization, physician referrals, or ESPECIALLY certificates of medical necessity.
Seek Professional Help
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Finally, if you have done all of the suggestions above, there are professional companies such as Gentem who offer services like revenue cycle and billing analysis. This way, you can pinpoint problems in your current income streams or receive more suggestions for more income streams.
This is a good option for you if you need the surest help as soon as possible instead of testing what will work.
The only thing to keep in mind is that you need to be willing to pay whatever the service fee is. If you’re already trying to figure out how to scrape by, this option may not be for you yet. Still, it never hurts to receive a quote.
Following these 7 ways to increase medical practice revenue will undoubtedly help you, if only through better organization and utilization of your resources. You can also try replacing your current equipment with what is state-of-the-art, but since that would be an expensive option, it’s advised to first see what you can do with what you have.