The economic hits just keep coming—and surprise, surprise, healthcare practices are far from immune. From record inflation and higher operational costs to ongoing staffing shortages and continued economic uncertainty underscored by the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, you’ll need to be more agile, adaptable, and resourceful in order to preserve your profitability and long-term success.
In turn, many practices are reexamining their expense ledgers, looking for ways to run more efficiently, and taking steps to tighten their collective belts. The silver lining is that you may not need to look any further than your office’s ever-growing and likely bloated tech stack. Most practices rely on a surprising number of disparate, often-redundant patient communications solutions whose monthly subscriptions factor into your practice’s bottom line.
Reevaluating these systems and looking to reduce and consolidate these software licenses can help you run a leaner but more productive and efficient office to offset higher operational practice expenses. Let’s look at where higher costs are pinching your practice management and how reducing your tech stack can help you cut costs, drive efficiencies, and improve patient satisfaction.
How are rising costs and economic uncertainty affecting my practice’s bottom line?
Practices are seeing rising costs increase at a faster pace than net patient revenues as physicians feel the pressures of inflation and a competitive labor market. Total direct expense per provider per full time equivalent rose to a new high of $619,682 in 2022 and 7% year-over-year. To help alleviate staff shortages, many practices have had to increase wages and benefits to be able to attract and retain experienced and reliable medical and admin staff members.
On the other end, higher living costs are impacting patients’ finances and making it trickier for practices to collect payments. That’s why it’s vital that you squeeze out every ounce of cost savings and effectiveness and savings to counterbalance these pressures.
How is the proliferation of SaaS tools having a negative financial impact on my practice?
In the last two decades, practices often got caught up in a cycle of adding more and more software as a service (SaaS) solutions for patient communications, regulations compliance, and other office operations. The national average for healthcare IT expenditures was $32,500 per full time provider—and that was in 2015. Yet many of the tools assembled in this patchwork quilt of systems are not only redundant, but they’re also costing your practice big time. In 2023, 74% of medical groups said their healthcare IT compliance expenses have risen in the past year.
Accumulative monthly subscription fees become very costly when you tally up all the systems your admin staff uses for administrative tasks. This is compounded further if your practice has multiple locations using different vendors for similar types of solutions.
Another drawback is that many of these disparate systems don’t “play well” with each other because they have limited, if any, integration abilities. This places more manual burdens on staff who have to switch from system to system for various tasks, making individual tools less effective. For example, this prevents your appointment reminder tool from linking with your online scheduling or digital intake solutions. This creates more complicated and inefficient scheduling workflows that cost your practice more time and money.
How can I cut costs and drive efficiencies by consolidating my software licenses?
You can considerably trim your IT expenses by consolidating your tech stack and implementing an all–in-one, HIPAA-compliant patient communications platform. A comprehensive text-first platform offers:
- A full suite of automated, customizable patient communications solutions, including reminders, recall, digital intake, two-way texting, newsletters, telehealth, and more in a single system
- Expandable office operations add-ons like text to pay, review invitations, and reputation management to support your practice’s growth
- Automation and personalization that streamlines workflows, minimizes manual workloads, and gets staff off the phones
- Financial savings from consolidating software licenses under a single solution, eliminating redundancies, and bundling your tools on a modern platform
- In-demand self-service functionality that gives patients a faster, more convenient care experience
- Interoperability of solutions to book more appointments more easily and direct patients at every step of their care
Despite rough economic headwinds, you can reduce your operational costs and protect your practice’s profitability by consolidating your software licenses. By trimming down your tech stack with an all-in-one patient communications platform, you get increased functionality, production, and efficiency so that your staff can book more appointments and deliver a better patient care experience. By minimizing costly and redundant software, you can gain savings to help support the financial health and the short- and long-term sustainability and growth of your practice.