Maintaining a profitable medical practice can be highly demanding, specially when your best focus is on ensuring quality care for your patients. Like any other business your practice needs to operate with a high level of efficiency to remain profitable. If you intend to stay an independent practice at a time when so many other providers are joining the hospital system you must ensure an efficient workflow that would allow you to bill and collect optimally and timely and at the same time you should have some time on your hands to address other important aspects of your business. If you still do in house billing this is high time you think of partnering with an effective medical billing service provider, so you can focus on just two things: Patient care and developing your practice. Cosentus has put together 6 easy tips for you to be able to increase your revenue and stay profitable.
Ensure Patient Retention
Your front desk plays a crucial role in making sure that the patients have a really good first interaction with your practice. This creates a lasting impression and is crucial for patient retention. Sending the patients, a quick survey to fill out about their experience with your practice is a great way to make them feel how valued they are and you get the valuable feedback for free. If you do not already do this plan on implementing this practice. Giving your patients access to a comprehensive patient portal has again become really important. Make it really easy for them to go online and review their records as well as make hassle free online payments for their out of pocket expenses. If you have a strong patient retention your monthly patient counts will be stable and then if you manage to find new patients your monthly visits will go up and so will your revenue.
Make Money On Prescription Refills
A huge chunk of incoming communication to most practices is prescription related, so it makes prescribing a big deal for your practice. It can be a patient asking for prescription refills or pharmacy personnel seeking approval to fill a script, but every time this is costing you money and it can range from $ 2 to $ 15 per instance. That is a lot of money being spent and, in most cases, it is the pharmacist that is making money on your investment. But it does not have to be this way. If you have a well laid out prescription policy in place it can not only generate additional revenue for your practice but also offset some of the cost. Your policy needs to outline how refill and other prescription requests are handled. It can include a follow-up period for chronic disease patients, they could be seen every 90 days for evaluation and review of medications. This can typically make you anywhere between $65 and $75. A similar policy has to be in place for patients who call in with acute symptoms, they may request that a prescription be called in without a visit. Your policy should include eliminating prescribing in these cases and getting those patients in for appointment, ideally the same day. You can encourage the patients not be self-diagnose and help them understand the issues involved. It is very important that all your staff members are well versed with this policy and are on the same page.
Use Your Schedule Smartly To Maximize Visits And Revenue
Most practices just use the scheduler to keep things organized when smart use of your scheduler can turn it into a money-making machine for you. And this is not necessarily about double booking patients or just limited to offsetting loss of income from every unfilled appointment. You need to analyze your patient mix closely, are they primarily fee-for-service (FFS) or capitated? FFS patients pay for services one by one whereas capitated patients have a set fee that has been paid for services performed. Not very difficult to understand where is the opportunity to make most money, is it? Try to schedule capitated patients in the blocked spaces for capitated patients, while you leave the same day and extended hours open to the FFS patients. The FFS patients can go elsewhere, and you will lose money not just on one instance may be more future instances too, you don’t want to do that. Don’t book capitated patients in the same day slots if not necessary.
Again, you have many different types of patient visits and they make you different kind of money. A new patient visit takes longer than a returning patient but makes you more money, acute patients are different then visits for preventive care. A thorough analysis of your own patient data will help you strategize better, place appointments based on their type at times of the day where it makes the most sense. Acute visits should be prioritized over preventive care and preventive care can be pushed to the end of the day, same could be done for the new patient visits that take longer.
It will take some doing and getting used to but once perfected you can accommodate more patients in a day and make much more every day while still providing quality care for your patients and ensuring that they return to later when they need medical care.
Increase Your Online Presence
Having a good online presence has become mandatory for practice to not only keep finding new patients but to also market the services provided at the center. Engage experts to help you boost your online image. Your website must talk about your team of physicians, all services rendered, should be integrated with a really nice patient portal and should be able to market the seasonal shots and injections for patients that may need them.
Once you have started using your schedule smartly and have created space for more patients you would also need to find more patients. Often times finding more patients is as easy as, mining data in your software and advertising services on your website, while you can use the patient portal to reach out to the patients.
Your practice management / medical billing software is full of information about patients that may need immunizations, including annual flu or pneumonia shots, patients who may be due for periodical checkups, identity these patients and reach out to them.
Tap Into Payer Incentives
A lot of payers are now offering significant incentives for certain preventive care actions or chronic care follow up. Your reaching out to patients for increasing monthly visits can also help you seize this opportunity. Incentives can widely vary by payer, state and practice specialty. Make some time to find out about opportunities available to you by reaching out to payers to ask about these incentives. Reaching out to patients will help your practice to tap into this free money from those health plans that are providing financial incentives for meeting quality indicators.
Stop Leaving Money On The Table
A lot of practices are still leaving 20-30% on table because their medical billing and coding is not optimized. If your’s is one of those practices, you seriously need to start thinking on the lines of outsourcing your billing and coding to a medical billing partner that can provide optimized healthcare revenue cycle management services. If you are already outsourcing your medical billing and coding, ask your service provider about your practice statistics and their plan to improve those. You can inquire about your clean claims submission ratio and if it is not upwards of 97% ask for a plan, similarly, ask about denial rates and if it is not under 6% ask for a plan. Review your accounts receivable from time to time to make sure your AR over 90 days is less than 12%. If that is not the case, then your revenue is locked up and cash flow is either already disrupted or will soon be.
If you do not know what the current efficiency of your billing is and whether or not you can make more money, Cosentus offers a free comprehensive analysis of your billing and coding. You can click link below or go to our website www.cosentus.com and sign up for your practice audit in less than 60 seconds. This is a totally free analysis with absolutely no obligations! With your analysis you get a road map for increasing your practice revenue.