Urgent Care Centers industry have grown by 5.4% to reach revenue of $28bn in 2018 (IBIS World)
Just like any other business, if an urgent care clinic is going to survive it needs to make money. If you can increase your urgent care’s revenue, you can make it that much stronger. But how can you increase the revenue without simply raising prices? There are a number of processes to put in place and tools to use to achieve this goal. Let’s look at a few now.
You have a space for your urgent care and you have to pay for it whether it’s in use or not. Therefore, why not serve a new stream of patients by opening outside of normal businesses hours? It will cost you, but if the money you’re investing in staying open longer increases your income it was worth it. Urgent cares that aren’t open late or don’t have extended weekend hours miss out on a lot of business. Get your share of that business by paying the little bit of extra overhead in staff and utility costs and reaping the benefits of increased traffic.
Add On Services
Have you considered providing ancillary services such as a physical or orthopedic therapist to increase profit? Another option is to contact local physicians to either arrange to see their patients for routine follow-ups after business hours or rent them a space in which to do so. Finally, Occupational Medicine is a great fit as an add-on service for an urgent care center. This option helps to keep a balanced workflow throughout the year. Also, it provides regular stream of patients for things like Workers’ Comp visits, lab testing, and other types of workplace-related medicine. As an added bonus, it can also be a source of new patients for the urgent care while serving a need in your community.
Increasing income can sometimes be as simple as maintaining an effective revenue cycle management system. Managing your revenue cycle really begins at the front desk. Your staff up front must be trained on how to check insurance coverage to make sure it’s active. Also, they will need to know how to determine patient responsibility using real-time verification (RTV), in order to get that percentage of the charge at the time of service.
The more you collect at the time of service, the less energy you’ll expend during the billing process in order to get paid what you’re owed. It’s also important to be sure that everyone on your staff recognizes the important role they play in accurate billing. Remind your staff that incomplete or inaccurate documentation leads to poor coding which can lead to a loss in profits. Keep your whole staff on the same page and you’ll help to increase your revenue simply by being sure you’re getting paid.
There are many ways to use technology to help your urgent care to be more profitable. This can include online appointment scheduling or short text-based surveys to ensure patient satisfaction. However, the most helpful is utilizing electronic fund transfers (EFT) with your patients. EFT enables patients to quickly pay a bill at the time of a visit. Also, you can allow for credit and debit card payments to keep money flowing into your office seeing as our society has become increasingly “plastic-based.”
Staffing issues are always uncomfortable to think about. It’s important to be sure you have exactly the right staff on duty at all times, and in order to do this you need to look at the data. Start by reviewing your visit volume week-to-week while comparing peak times versus slow times to identify patterns. From here, you can make educated coverage decisions.
Next, look at year-over-year volume to identify seasonal trends and coverage needs. With this data in hand, you’ll be able to make the best scheduling decisions. It’s also important to determine which members of your staff are more willing to take on additional work in a pinch. Similarly, determine those who are okay with going home if things are unexpectedly slow. Determining flexible staff members will give you the necessary wiggle room needed to save your revenue stream.
A strong revenue is necessary to keep your urgent care going, but improving your income doesn’t have to be complicated. It simply takes some intentional research, thought, and planning. If you choose to allow technology to help you increase revenue at your urgent care, MicroMD can help.
We offer an urgent care specific EMR/EHR and our Practice Management software allows for the integration of EFT and credit card payments to help you get paid faster. For more information visit micromd.com or call 1-800-624-8832.
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