The U.S. spends a lot of money on quality healthcare. In 2021, spending for health-related services jumped 2.7 percent to reach roughly $4.3 Trillion nationwide. While healthcare is an industry centered around providing care, healthcare is still a highly competitive industry. And, providers in the industry are poised to make a meaningful profit with the right tools and operational procedures in place.
Unfortunately, over the last few years, everything from disruptions in standard care models and more denied claims, to higher operating costs brought significant challenges to many providers. As your practice sets forth into the new year, making a few adjustments could make the difference. Take a look at a few ways to increase your medical revenue for the new year and the years to come.
How to Increase Revenue in a Medical Practice
Improve Payment Collection Strategies
Re-evaluate existing patient collections policies. Make sure you offer a definitive methodology that shows patients what to expect when they don’t pay their bills. Around 100 million people in the country carry medical debt. While some have legitimate reasons for not being able to pay, a lot of healthcare bills go unpaid because the provider drops the ball with collections.
Re-Examine Your Pre-Authorization Process
Pre-authorization issues can cost your practice a lot of revenue and lost time. Have a clear prior authorization protocol in place. The more stringent you are about verifying covered procedures before providing services, the less likely it will be a patient is left owing a bill they can’t afford to pay. About 99 percent of individuals enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan require prior authorization for certain levels of service. And, these requirements can affect all spectrums of healthcare provider types. Even pharmacies must be on the lookout for pre-authorization medication. The high level of prior authorization requirements can cause a bit of an administrative burden, but the added work is well worth the boost in revenue and preventable losses.
Offer Virtual Visits After Hours and Adjust Your Business Hours
Virtual visits are cost-effective for care providers and convenient for patients. Further, more patients have embraced virtual care models. Therefore, if you are not offering virtual care, you could be missing a major revenue-boosting opportunity. Most insurance plans now cover virtual visits as well, which means the technology can be an important investment for modern practice.
Another important way to boost revenue is to adjust your hours of business. If every other provider in your field operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no weekend appointments available, you could attract new patients by offering later hours on certain days. You may even want to consider offering medical concierge services, which gives a patient access to a provider as needed for a contracted price.
Delegate or Outsource Non-Medical Work
If administrative tasks get in the way of billable hours, outsource them. For example, if you spend a lot of time on medical coding and billing, these tasks are easy enough to outsource to a service provider that focuses solely on this aspect of running a practice. Outsourcing can free up time to focus on improving patient flow and volume, but it can also help you avoid denied claims.
Build Your Presence Online and Engage with Your Target Audience
Modern patients are internet-savvy medical consumers. Most patients spend some time researching a provider before requesting an appointment. Even more profound, at least 70 percent turn to patient reviews to evaluate a professional. Additionally, 72 percent say that they will not visit a provider if they don’t have at least a four-star standing with available patient reviews.
If you don’t have a practice website, you could inadvertently dismiss a large portion of prospective patients. Likewise, if you don’t work to build your online reputation—positively—many patients will simply look for a different provider. Work with a digital marketing firm if you must to build a custom website, set up social media profiles, and help you with reputation management on healthcare provider directories and review sites. Further, you can utilize these venues to engage with your target patients and build authority as a trustworthy provider in your field.
Increase Fee Schedules by Renegotiating Payer Contracts
Payer contracts are not concrete for the long term. They actually can be negotiated, but many providers never attempt to do just that. If you have key data to show the cost-effectiveness of your business and positive care experiences, these factors can often be used as leverage to negotiate a raise in fee schedules with payers.
Build a Better Appointment Schedule and Reduce Missed Appointments
A missed appointment or appointment opportunity is a cost to your practice in more ways than one. If your practice scheduling is not on-point, you can struggle with long wait times that affect your reputation or lack patient flow to keep everyone on staff making use of billable hours. Missed appointments are also a culprit behind revenue loss. Some data points indicate that missed appointments cost the industry about $150 Billion annually. A straightforward scheduling plan, automated appointment reminders, and a good system in place can make a huge difference.
Involve Your Staff to the Fullest
Make sure to keep staff members motivated. Any practice is only as efficient and profitable as possible if the staff members are fully present, well-trained, and motivated to perform. On the same note, make sure each professional in the practice is operating at full capacity. Use your extenders—registered nurses and nurse practitioners, for example, can handle many patient interactions without the primary physician’s involvement.
Integrate Productivity Tools
Modern technology has afforded numerous opportunities for healthcare providers to enhance how they offer care and the profitability of the business. The perfect example is transitioning from using paper documentation practices for health records to using an electronic health record (EHR) system like ProgoCIS. As an added bonus, well-designed software systems like PrognoCIS offer the capability of using other integrated tools. For example, you have access to telemedicine apps for virtual appointments and templates to enhance workflow within the practice.
Increase Patient Volume and Revenue This Year with the Best Tools and Plans in Place
From focusing on patient satisfaction and building an online presence to expanding service hours and improving patient flow, there are many ways to enhance revenue. However, implementing the tools necessary to move your practice into the future of medical care can make one of the most profound differences. If you are looking to upgrade to an innovative, intuitive EHR system, be sure to schedule a demo with PrognoCIS.