What To Do About Revenue In 2024?

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Primary Blog/What To Do About Revenue In 2024?
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What To Do About Revenue In 2024?

There are a lot of things frustrating healthcare providers these days.

Here are a few items on the list: Third party payer interference, loss of autonomy, increasing expenses, staffing issues, burnout, rude patients, etc.

But one of the biggest frustrations is decreasing reimbursement.

Let's face it, dealing with all of these issues would be a lot easier if you felt like you were being adequately reimbursed for your work.

You can't really lower expenses. You run lean enough as it is. So, ...

What can you do about your decreasing revenue in 2024?

Here are some suggestions for you to consider.

First, be sure you bill for email interactions and/or phone calls with patients.

Yes, there are some restrictions on such billing, but you can be reimbursed for your time spent corresponding with your patients.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with these guidelines and get paid for the work you do.  

Second, when appropriate, conduct the clinic visit via telehealth.

Not every visit requires an in-person exam. Some visits are follow-up visits to discuss test results or treatment options. Some of them can be done virtually.

This takes pressure off your clinic staff, and allows you to conduct the visit outside of normal clinic hours, if needed.

And yet, you can bill for such visits.

Third, if you are a surgeon or proceduralist, do more surgeries or procedures. They provide you the greatest revenue, so increase your numbers.

Work on improving your efficiency in the OR. And assist in improving the efficiency of the staff working with you in the OR.

What is your turnover time? If it is greater than 15 minutes, you have a problem.

Work with your OR staff and the facility staff to improve the efficiency of your OR. 

If your turnover time decreases, do more surgeries, or go back to clinic and see more patients with your extra time.

Be more efficient yourself. Have you ever had a video taken of one of your surgeries? You should.

Then, sit down with your team and watch the video. Discuss where you can be more efficient. Discuss where your staff can be more efficient.

If your staff doesn't want to work more efficiently, choose different staff members who are onboard with your efficiency goals.

As you know, if you do more surgeries/procedures, your revenue increases.  And improving your efficiency and your staff's efficiency is a win-win for you and the facility.

Fourth, see more patients.

It is surprising how many providers seem to forget that, without patients, they have no business.

I was talking to a gentleman recently, who is the CEO of a large, single-specialty group whose providers are unhappy about their decreasing reimbursements.

One of the most vocal of the unhappy providers works only four days per week, and takes every Friday off.

It was recommended to him that at least a partial solution to his complaint is to start working more Fridays. He didn't like the recommendation.

What changes can you make to see more patients? Can you start clinic 30 minutes to one hour earlier? Can you stay later on clinic days and see more patients?

Have you looked into hiring a PA or NP as a way to see more patients. How many patients would such a practice extender need to see to be revenue neutral?

What is the possible revenue increase if he/she were revenue positive?

Could you open your clinic for Saturday hours once a month? Twice a month? Or every Saturday staffed by a different member of your group, so no one provider has to bear the brunt of Saturday time?

Calculate the expenses such as payroll of the staff needed for Saturday time as well as the utilities, etc. How many patients would need to be seen to make it worthwhile?

Fifth, do you know the lifetime value of one patient to your practice?

Yes, you have to make some assumptions here, but most providers have never tried to calculate this. In fact, most providers don't even know the concept.

The concept is that every patient you see brings in some revenue. Some patients are only seen once, so they bring in the least revenue over their lifetime.

Other patients are seen more often. Maybe twice. Maybe Five times. Maybe ten times. Over the lifetime of the patient in your practice, how often are they seen?

You can apply some percentages to these patients and make some calculations.

How many patients do you typically see in a given year?

So, over the expected lifetime of your practice, how many patients, on average, will you see?

What percent of those patients do you see once and only once?

What percent do you see twice? Five times? Ten times?

If you are a surgeon or proceduralist, what percent of your patients will have surgery?

What is the average revenue associated with a clinic visit?  Or the revenue associated with a patient having surgery or a procedure?

Then calculate what revenue you make for each type of patient. Obviously, the surgical patients bring in more revenue.

However, just because a patient sees you only once, doesn't mean they aren't valuable. If they really liked you and they refer their friends and family to you, their value to your practice is way more than the one visit.

So, you should be able to calculate what the average lifetime value of one patient is to your practice.

Remember that value the next time you are asked to add a patient on your clinic schedule when you really don't want to!

Sixth, explore additional streams of revenue.

Can you add other businesses?

I was fortunate when I was in practice that our Orthopaedic group owned an ambulatory surgery center, an imaging center, a DME facility, a pharmacy, and an overnight stay facility.

In our state, the laws did not allow us to own a physical therapy facility, or we would have done that as well.

What other businesses can you add to your service offerings?

They don't always have to be such major businesses. What about "practice swag?"

You would be surprised how many patients will purchase mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, umbrellas, etc., that have your logo on them.

Seventh, switch to a Direct Care payment model.

Switching to direct care is a huge change, but many have done so and, after getting acclimated to the change, offer glowing reports.

Is that model for you?

It's certainly not for everyone.

But, there have been enough providers of different specialties now, who have made that transition, that you should be able to consult with them and gain some valuable advice on what to do, and what not to do.

Eighth, stop being in a foul mood!

The reality of decreasing reimbursements is not unique to you.

And there is nothing your staff can do about it. In clinic or in the OR.

There is nothing your spouse or family can do about it.

There is nothing your secretary can do about it.

So, stop fussing at others just because you are unhappy. They can't solve your revenue problem, but if they leave because of your foul mood, your underlying problems will be way worse!

Finally, focus on solutions!

Instead of fussing and fueling your foul mood, commit yourself to focusing on solutions.

We have presented some solutions here, but there are many other options.

Evaluate your options, and make a plan.

Start executing your plan to solve your revenue problems and life will slowly get brighter and happier.

And all around you will appreciate the new you.

What changes have you made to improve your revenue?

Do you have questions you would like to discuss? If so, please contact us at Healthcare Provider Marketing.

Ben Holt, M.D.

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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.