We are on post #5 of our medical series on the six key challenges uncovered in a recent study of 500 medical practices. Check out our past posts here:
- Boosting the quality of patient care
- Saving time for your practice and your patients
- Becoming the master of patient communication
- Improving patient experience
Today we are covering the need to boost revenue without creating more work for your staff.
Between shifting payment models, increased regulation, and lower physician reimbursement, medical practices are being squeezed financially in never-before-seen ways. A recent study of 500 medical practices found that this squeeze is being experienced by just about every practice across all specialties. It’s no surprise that medical practices say that boosting revenues is one of the biggest challenges they currently face.
Unfortunately, medical practices are already very busy. The day-to-day tasks of running a medical practice take up a huge amount of time. Calling to remind patients of appointments, setting up new appointments, submitting billing, and meeting patient needs leaves little time for dedicated marketing efforts. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to increase revenue without adding to the heavy workload already on your shoulders. Hint: Automation is key.
- Automate recare – Most medical practices have a hugely untapped resources right at their fingertips. Inactive patients. Experts estimate that if a practice can bring back one inactive patient each day, it would add $25,000 to the annual bottom line for primary care and $50,000 for specialty care. Recare should be a quick, easy, and (most importantly) automated process. Using technology, you can create on-going recare efforts without adding any time to your day. Your patient relationship management platform should allow you to automatically deliver messages before a patient is due (or once they’re overdue) for a continuing care appointment. These messages can be sent out at appropriate intervals for each patient’s individual care plan. You’ll reactivate far more patients and boost your practice’s revenue.
- Fill last-minute cancellations – We all know that last minute cancellations will occur. Unfortunately, trying to fill these cancellations can be tough. When a patient calls to cancel an appointment, most offices begin making phone call after phone call until the appointment is filled. A much more efficient way would be to simply send out a mass text or email to a group of patients waiting to be seen. Such a message takes virtually no time to send and last-minute cancellations can be filled within minutes. Filling last-minute cancellations automatically saves staff a great deal of time and reduces lost dollars for the practice.
- Reduce missed appointments—It’s no secret that missed appointments create a great deal of frustration to every medical practice across the country. It’s also no secret that they’re extremely costly. It is estimated that the loss of four appointments a day costs the average medical practice $144,000 a year in lost revenue. While not every no-show is preventable, there are effective ways to greatly reduce your no-shows. Some proven methods to reducing missed appointments include:
- Using automated reminders
- Use a variety of reminder methods
- Keep wait times down
- Reward patients who keep appointments
- Improve schedule management—Your schedule can make or break the bottom line. An efficient, smooth schedule can increase revenue while a poorly managed one can result in revenue loss instead. Any unfilled appointment slots are hours that your practice is not bringing in any revenue. Make sure that you focus on scheduling in a strategic manner. Effective schedule management requires dedication and training for your front office staff. For an in-depth discussion on mastering the art of efficiency in patient scheduling, read this blog post.
The most efficient, effective way to boost revenue for a medical practice is to find automated solutions to common revenue-killers. If you want to learn even more, read our free ebook, “Improve Revenue with Autmated Reminders and Notifications.”