How Doctors Can Increase Their Practice Revenue!

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Primary Blog/How Doctors Can Increase Their Practice Revenue!
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How Doctors Can Increase Their Practice Revenue!

Each year it seems the revenue for physicians either decreases or doesn't increase enough to keep up with inflation.

Medicare often cuts reimbursements for physicians or keeps the reimbursement the same. Either way, it decreases relative to inflation.

And since insurance contracts are negotiated to be tied to a percentage relative to Medicare, they decrease as well.

The net effect is usually decreasing reimbursements over the course of a physician's career.

But, physicians are smart enough to offset these decreases by employing several different means. Here is a list of some of them:

1. Seeing more patients - It doesn't take a lot of business sense to understand that increasing your volume will increase your revenue. However, there is a point at which each doctor reaches a maximum volume he/she can see in a given day, week, month, or year. This is limited by time and energy level. That means there is a cap on this method of increasing revenue.

2. Doing more procedures - Similar to seeing more patients, those doctors who do surgeries or procedures can increase their revenue simply by doing more surgeries/procedures. So, surgeons work on efficiency in the OR. Decreasing surgery time. Decreasing turnover time. Insisting on the same OR team for every surgery to improve efficiency. All of these efforts allow more surgeries/procedures to be performed. That increases revenue. But again, there is a cap on this increase. It is also limited by time and energy level. There are only so many hours in a day. And you can't do it all by yourself. So, you are also limited by other staff members' time and energy levels.

3. Offering other cash-based services or products - When you as a physician recommend products or services which are helpful to patients, but which are not covered by Medicare or insurance, it is possible to sell those items in your office. Then, you can have an additional revenue stream. These products or services need to be truly related to what you are treating. These may include PRP or Stem Cell injections, nutritional supplements, skin care products, braces, orthotics, pads, creams, ointments, lotions, etc. You know what products or services you recommend frequently to your patients that are cash based. Why not include them in your service offerings at your office. Price them competitively. Your patients will appreciate the one-stop shop.

4. Real estate - Many physicians used to lease their office space. Over time, physicians were smart enough to realize the benefits of owning their own offices. They can pay rent to their corporate ownership structure. They then receive income as a physician and as a landlord. Many physicians will build or purchase a larger facility than they need and then rent out the other space for additional cash flow. The goal is increasing their revenue stream. The real estate aspect works very well. If you aren't currently doing so, you should strongly consider it. Finding tenants who provide services or products your patients need is a win-win for you and them.

5. Owning their own surgery center or procedure center - Physicians understand that a surgery or procedure bill has a provider fee and a facility fee. For many years, when all surgeries/procedures were performed at the hospital, the hospital received those facility fees. However, in more recent years physicians have owned their own surgery centers and are enjoying a portion of the revenue from the facility fee as well. And as time has gone on, more and more surgeries/procedures are being performed in an outpatient setting. If you do outpatient surgeries/procedures and don't own the surgery center, you should pursue that goal as your number one priority. As with many revenue streams in healthcare, the regulations eventually result in a decrease in the revenue. Right now, it is still worth it!

This is not an exhaustive list. However, if you see any item on this list you don't currently employ in your practice, you should make plans for how to incorporate it soon.

The goal is to maximize your revenue.

You worked hard for your education and training.

You take enormous risks.

You deserve to be reimbursed at an appropriate rate.

And if Medicare and insurance companies won't pay you what you deserve, it is well within your right to increase your reimbursement through such other legitimate means.

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Ben Holt, M.D.

CEO , Healthcare Provider Marketing

Dr. Holt is the CEO of Healthcare Provider Marketing.  He is passionate about both healthcare and marketing.  His goal is to help healthcare providers maximize their revenue through new marketing and business strategies.