How to improve practice profitability with new services

How to improve practice profitability with new services

So, let’s say you’ve already trimmed your overhead in every imaginable way. You’ve studied productivity, and your doctors are seeing as many patients as they can without compromising quality of care. You are so on top of billing and collections that you can recite current accounts receivable statistics on command. What else could you possibly do to plump up profitability this year? Consider adding a new service that your patients will use and appreciate. Not all of the following will be right for every practice, but here are some ideas to get you thinking.

Lab or imaging services.

Both of these are major undertakings (expensive to establish and highly regulated), so only step into this arena after doing plenty of homework. A good consultant can help you evaluate equipment, calculate ROI, research staffing requirements, and navigate the regulatory aspects of the venture.

In-office prescriptions.

Being able to offer commonly prescribed medications in your office is a convenience for patients and an added revenue stream for the practice. Google “in-office dispensing” to find companies that provide turnkey prescription systems. According to the Web site of one such company, Dispensing Solutions, Inc., it’s legal for physicians to dispense medications from their offices in every state except for Utah. Be prepared to spend additional time with patients if you offer prescriptions, counseling them as a pharmacist would on proper usage, potential side effects, etc.

Nutritional counseling.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one-third of adults in the U.S. are overweight, and another one-third is classified as obese. Being overweight and obese contributes to a myriad of health problems including hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and even certain cancers. If you’d like to provide a service that could make a difference in the lives of your patients, consider offering nutritional counseling in your office. To ensure quality and qualify for reimbursement, make sure that whomever you hire or bring on as an independent contractor is a properly educated, trained, and licensed certified nutritionist or registered dietician.

Ahhhh . . . a massage.

Sublet an exam room one day or half a day each week to a massage therapist, or add a qualified therapist to your staff and bill for his or her services. Either method generates extra revenue, and your patients will welcome the opportunity to have an occasional (or regular) massage in an environment in which they are already familiar.

Brainstorm with your staff about ideas they might have for new services, and/or survey your patients about what might interest them.