2020 was a tough year for businesses of all types, including medical practices. Many offices and practices closed down just like other businesses because non-essential surgeries were canceled or postponed during the pandemic.
The hope is that 2021 will be a year of recovery, leaving many medical practices looking at ways they can increase their revenue.
The following are some strategies practices of all types can use to achieve this objective.
Reduce Billing Errors and Increase Efficiency
If you haven’t looked at your billing practices in a while, or you don’t have a modern billing solution, it’s time to take a look at what’s available.
With a strong billing platform, you can find customized solutions for your practice’s specific revenue cycle. Along with having a good platform, consider bringing in consultants who can help improve your billing and coding efficiency, improve your cash flow and revenue and reduce your compliance risks.
You can also learn to harness the power of reporting and analytics.
The benefit of focusing on these areas is that you’re going to develop better relationships with patients, and if applicable, hospitals.
Consider Adding Staff to Boost Capacity
If you’re in a downturn, you might be hesitant to add new staff because it is going to add to your operational costs. At the same time, it’s likely an investment that will pay for itself in a variety of ways.
For example, maybe you hire a new nurse practitioner to see patients so the physicians can focus on the more complex cases.
When you bring on qualified staff, if you’re the only physician at your practice, you aren’t losing money when you aren’t there because there is someone to see patients.
Bringing on new staff can also help you offer a better patient experience.
For example, you can spend more time with each patient, and you have someone to help you with prescription refills, lab reports, and administrative elements that come with running the practice.
A medical practice and its staff need to always be operating at a peak level of efficiency. There’s no time to waste, not only in terms of revenue but also in the delivery of the best possible patient experience.
If you have a lot of patients scheduled with chronic conditions all at once, you may get behind. On the other hand, if you’re scheduling a lot of patients with relatively simple issues all around the same time as one another, you may have gaps. You need a good mix in your scheduling.
Have an Online Presence
No matter how you might feel about it, the vast majority of patients go online for health care information. They also use online reviews to find health care providers. You need to have a strong presence as such.
If you aren’t online, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll be found by new patients.
You need a great practice website, and you also need to put some attention toward online directories. Create a profile for yourself, and use social media when possible.
Offer Virtual Visits
The world of virtual health care wasn’t new when coronavirus hit, but it became mainstream during that time.
Even as people are increasingly vaccinated, they may still like the convenience of virtual care, and it can be a good way to improve your revenue.
You can fit more appointments in your day, and you may be able to offer some outside of typical office hours as well. You could even do some of them from home.
Virtual visits to help manage chronic conditions can be especially efficient.
Another benefit of virtual visits is that you can reduce the risk of lost revenue that comes from missed appointments. There are a lot of reasons someone might not make their scheduled appointment, which can cost you money. Reasons include a lack of childcare and work commitments. Virtual appointments reduce these scenarios.
Upgrade Patient Payment Options
Finally, if your patients aren’t paying their bills, it’s obviously going to affect revenue.
You can upgrade your software to ease this issue. Look for options that offer payment plans and make sure that online payments are available as well.
The more flexibility you have available for your patients, the better.
Even if you felt like 2020 was your toughest year, you can make 2021 the year that you modernize your practice, boost its efficiency and ultimately improve your revenue. The upside is that the majority of things you do to improve revenue are also going to have a positive effect on patients.