Are you operating in the green or in the red at your practice?
A medical practice is a business, and like any business, in order to succeed it must remain profitable. Thinking this way can feel uncomfortable for doctors who entered the medical field looking to make a difference and heal patient ailments. However, it’s important to remember that you must be in business in order to see and help patients. So, how do you remain profitable? Let’s look at a few ways.
Develop a healthcare pricing model that is valuable for your patients and profitable for you
As healthcare has become more consumer driven, the idea of raising prices can be scary, but value is the real issue. As long as patients feel they are receiving high quality care, they are likely to be okay with paying a slightly higher price. The key here is to strike the balance between what is profitable for you but won’t be seen as too expensive by your patients. It’s also important to discuss your pricing with your patients and clearly explain the reasoning behind the cost. This helps them to understand what they are getting for the price.
Patient engagement is key. Happy patients = healthy margins
Just like loyal customers keep other businesses in good shape, loyal patients will keep your practice running well. Keep your patients happy and loyal by implementing a high standard of care and patient service throughout the practice. This requires holding your staff accountable. Be proactive in determining what your patients need and accommodating those needs without hassle. Patients appreciate feeling heard and cared for.
Use healthcare technology to keep your operation efficient
You want your staff to spend time doing the most important work they can be. It’s incredibly annoying to pay someone to be stuck on the phone all day. Leverage technology to automate some of the more time-consuming, manual tasks to help out with your bottom line. Make sure your PM and EMR software systems interface well together to eliminate the need for double entry work. Use a patient portal to allow for more convenient, direct communication between patients and their providers. Also, utilize this technology to help patients efficiently request appointments, referrals, and view lab results. Sign up for an automated appointment reminder solution like AutoRemind to cut down on staff time spent confirming appointments. It’s easy to see technology as a cost, but resist that urge and instead see the value it can bring to your practice.
Actively monitor physician reviews for your practice
Today’s patients are reading online reviews and allowing that information to influence who they choose to go to for their care. If your online reputation is bad you’re likely to see your patient volume go down, and your profitability will follow it. Combat this by taking control of your online presence and manage your reputation in such a way to keep your existing patients while also attracting some new ones. Embrace social media and use it to connect with your patients and keep them up to date about what’s going on in your practice. Update your website. Write blogs. Find ways to connect with patients outside the four walls of your practice. Patients who remain connected with your practice beyond their annual physical are more likely to stick with your practice and tell their friends about their fantastic doctor’s office.
Maintaining a profitable medical practice may sound like a daunting task, but it simply requires due diligence and intentionality. Developing sound processes in each of the areas above will help to ensure your business is built on a solid foundation, and that you can look forward to many profitable years in the future.