Many medical practices have been suffering due to the high cost of malpractice insurance, rising supply cost, increasing changes with reimbursement rates and overhead costs, so physicians are constantly looking for ways to increase their revenue and lower their costs. There are many tactics and tips that could help physicians to find other ways to increase their revenue to balance out other costs.
1. What to do when patients do not show up for their appointments
One way to handle this is to have a no show policy that charges the patient. This charge could be put in effect if the patient no shows for the first or second time. It is at times somewhat difficult to collect, but if most patients want to continue to visit the physicians office in the future they will understand the policy and pay the charge. One step further would be to have a credit card on file for this purpose, with the understanding that if the appointment is missed without notice, the patient’s credit card will be charged. This should be relayed to the patient when making an appointment and it also should be posted somewhere near the check in area. Also confirm appointments 36 hours prior to the visit so that if they cancel there will be time to fill in that appointment with someone else. Start a cancellation list which you could refer to when an appointment slot has been made available.
2. Offer your patients more services
Patients are busy people too and how convenient would it be for them to be able to get additional services at the physician’s office rather than have to travel to another location either that day or later to receive the necessary testing to further evaluate them. Some services that could be done in-house: draw blood, conduct urinalyses and stool guaiac tests for example. You should be able to bill for these items. Also if the patient must go to another facility to receive additional services, help them to arrange the details, such as schedule the appointment for them. Patients really appreciate that extra mile in their care and that results in them being loyal to the physician as a patient.
3. Providing a niche could create more new patients
There are so many physicians to choose from for a patient to seek care from. Physicians should consider doing wellness medicine. This could open up the range of patients that the physician normally sees. Why not try developing a subspecialty such as diabetes, geriatrics, dermatology or thyroid disorders. Or occupational health by doing pre-employment physicals, worker’s compensation, drug screening, drivers’ physicals and advertise that you offer these services whether it be in the yellow pages, online, or the practices own website.
Marina Hall is a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) and founder of MariAnn Medical Billing Service. To read a full “Interview with Marina Hall” visit her website at http://www.inscoding.com/aboutus.php
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