Adding Nutritional Income to Your Practice (Part 2)
As you look for additional areas to increase the revenue for your practice, look to include retail sales of nutritional supplements to your existing patients. When you prescribe (recommend) nutritional support to your patients, you can make it convenient for your patients by stocking vitamins and other dietary supplements right in your office. Alternative healthcare providers have been doing this for years to increase their revenue and to ensure that their patients take home the appropriate nutritional supplements. Whether they actually take the supplements is another matter, but at least you’ve done what you can as their doctor.
You can take this concept one step farther, by selling supplements with your own label. Not only will this keep your name in front of your patients daily, but many patients will see you as a leader in the nutritional field since you have developed your own line of products. A quick internet search will provide you with a list of nutritional suppliers who will print up labels with your name or clinic’s name on their nutritional products. You can choose from a variety of companies- from all natural suppliers who will have certified organic products to pharmaceutical companies who will private label their nutraceuticals. If you have developed a proprietary nutritional supplemental blend, you can find a company to manufacture your product at their facility.If you feel uncomfortable with this or think that it is unprofessional to sell supplements right in your office, then consider the option that optometrists have used for years. Optometrists have offered reduced fee eye exams and then referred patients to the eyewear store that they own. Set-up a small nutritional outlet right next door or down the block to sell your products. Another option would be to join with several colleagues and form a corporation to operate a retail nutritional supplement store. Vertical integration has been taking place in the agricultural business for years with positive results. Dairy co-ops and most ethanol plants are farmer owned.
You do need to ensure that you follow legal and ethical regulations so that you don’t run afoul of self-referral laws. But, this should not be a problem because you are an ethical doctor who only prescribes what you know is best for your patients, anyway.
While recommending specific nutritional products, or referring your patients to your in house nutritionist will be an immense help to many patients, you also need to keep in mind the fact that advising your patients to avoid certain foods which have been proven to exacerbate certain health conditions will also help to improve your treatment plans. Type II diabetes is a classic example of where you can help many patients improve their health be avoiding specific types of food. You can recommend specific dietary changes that will affect many different health problems. Arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and allergies are all conditions which can be improved through proper nutrition and avoidance of specific triggering foods.
If you really want to get involved with nutrition or healing foods, you can again contract with nutritional companies to put together a private label line of products or an entire specific dietary regiment for a specific diagnosis. By adding certain supplements, such as digestive enzymes for most patients and restricting or eliminating other specific items (refined carbohydrates for Type II diabetics) you can greatly improve your patient’s response to your care. More satisfied patients will usually mean better compliance with your treatment plan and more referrals in the long run.
Speaking of specific dietary regiments, the treatment or prevention of obesity will become more important for the whole healthcare field in the future. You need to stay ahead of the curve and position yourself as a leader in the treatment of obesity as a way to keep your practice revenue increasing as the priorities in healthcare evolve. Which will the topic for next week’s article.
Blog subscriptionReceive email notification when a new item is added in this blog.
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.