Like it or not, any professional in business for themselves has to be a part-time marketing guru. The famous line from Field of Dreams: "Build it and they will come." rarely works in the real world of fierce competition. While the premise of having to market a healthcare practice seems beneath the dignity of many medical professionals, failure to do so almost certainly guarantees that the practice will fail.
Your marketing goal is increased revenue so that the practice can provide healthcare to its patients. Marketing experts will confirm that it much easier, and profitable, to sell additional services or products to an existing customer (patient) than it is to acquire a new one. Up-selling is just that, educating existing patients on additional benefits that your practice has to offer through ancillary care or products. In a healthcare practice based on a cash medicine model, long term success will be determined by building and maintaining a patient base by being able to meet all of their healthcare needs.
Even as managed care and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) become more prevalent in the media and political realm; cash only practices and concierge medical practices are transforming the way many doctors can improve their practice revenues. But cash practices are not necessarily the best approach for every physician or specialist to increase income or even remain viable as a private practice physician. Which healthcare specialists are most conducive to making the change to cash medicine?
As anyone in the marketing world will confirm, it is much easier to sell items that the consumer wants rather than what they need. The same holds true in the healthcare field. Cosmetic surgeons have historically made a comfortable living by providing procedures that patients want, nose jobs, liposuction, etc.; rather than what they need such as improved diet or a regular exercise regimen. The specialists that cater to patient’s vanity are the ones that can most easily make the transition to cash practices. LASIK eye surgery, dental implants, body enhancement surgery practices can survive and even thrive under managed healthcare by offering these services for cash.
Why would any healthcare provider want to operate a cash only practice? This approach would seem to limit the potential patient base to wealthy patients or patients who are healthy and don’t require the services of a doctor. This assumption is not necessarily true; there are many prospective patients who would value the services of a healthcare provider and would be willing to pay for them.The growing number of people with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) will utilize low cost cash only providers to maximize the benefits of their high deductible insurance plans. Most HSAs have deductibles over $5000 that the patient is responsible for the first $5000 of medical costs each year. This population of patients is eager to find and utilize the services of a low cost, high value healthcare provider.
A recent survey of more than 1,500 front-line staffers from nine New York hospitals showed that hospital work environments that value and support a broad range of front-line workers had higher rates of patient satisfaction and lower likelihood of adverse events according to Health Behavior News Service. While this may seem to be common sense to most practitioners, it appears to come as a surprise to hospital administrators.
"How we treat hospital workers--whether we support them, give them a say in decisions about their work, and treat them not as interchangeable or dispensable cogs in a wheel but as a valued resource--affects their ability to work together to provide care that patients want and need," stated lead author Dana Beth Weinberg, associate professor at Queens College and the department of sociology at the Graduate Center-CUNY.
IBM: Our goal is simply stated. We want to be the best service organization in the world.
Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Facebook: To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
It’s reality folks: in the world of healthcare, going it alone is virtually impossible these days. As a stand-alone, multi-physician practice or sole practitioner, the myriad of requirements and obligations involved in healthcare have made being a small player a real challenge. Hospital chains, both for profit and nonprofit, have become negotiating powerhouses – and their clout guarantees preferential payer contracts.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY ON DME AND COMPLY WITH THE NEW REGS
By: Chantelle Walker
New Revenue Stream Provides Easy Access to Significant Profits
The old stock-and-bill model is out the new “physician friendly” model is in. Gregory Simms, President of DME Advanta, LLC speculates that “the in-office DME trend will increase anywhere from 10-25% in the next five years due to a newly established federal mandate which does away with the old ‘stock and bill’ model.” As an industry veteran with over 20 years experience, Simms pioneered the in-office DME protocol after he continued to see shrinking reimbursements, dwindling patient loads and the need for ancillary services to improve profitability. The new model uses such services to put profits back in the pockets of doctors.