7 Ways for Private Practice Doctors to Boost Medical Office Profits
\As a medical practice owner, your goal is to increase the bottom line. Here’s 7 ways private practice doctors can optimize their medical practice for profits.
Research shows that 45% of physicians are private practice doctors. They must manage their medical office like a business, maximizing profits to survive.
Only 22% of physicians say their practice was doing better financially than it was a year ago, with 26% reporting that it was doing worse. Every practice needs to develop an effective strategy to stay afloat and earn as much as possible.
Read on to learn 7 ways private doctor’s offices can maximize their profits.
1. Be Efficient
Private practice doctors only need about 1,000-2,000 square feet each to do their work. Anything larger reduces the revenue you earn compared to the costs per square foot and increases unnecessary walking time.
The best medical practice layout is a structure of four rooms separated by a hallway with two on each side. This makes it easier for doctors and patients to travel between each room.
Make a customer interaction repository and all available patient records available to all staff members. This helps ensure that everyone knows who they’re working with and what they need as quickly as possible.
2. Improve Customer Service
There are several effective ways for a practice to boost customer service. Implementing them all will improve patient morale and keep them coming back.
All doctor’s practices must work to strike a balance in the amount of technology they use.
Some patients may want options like text and email alerts for appointments and online scheduling. Others may prefer to talk to their healthcare providers in person or on the phone. Offer both types of services at the highest quality possible.
Customer service is the heart of customer retention and reputation management. A single negative business experience may be shared with up to 21 other people, but 42% of customers purchase from a company recommended by a friend.
Developing a customer service strategy is one of the best things you can do for the health of your practice. It can only survive and make a healthy profit with a large base of satisfied patients.
3. Regulate Your Patient Load and Schedule
High patient volumes of 400 or more visits a month will lead to better profits. Few doctor’s practices can survive with less than 25 visits per day per doctor. Scheduling mistakes such as overbooking or placing too many appointments too close together contribute to burnout and decrease efficiency.
Numbers aren’t the only consideration, as the type of patients you see is just as important. At least 10% of your monthly clients should be new to your practice.
When deciding how many patients you should see in a day, consider factors such as the size of your practice, how many staff you have, and how much you can handle. Exhausted private practice doctors can’t provide the best service, but those who don’t schedule enough appointments won’t be able to break even.
4. Consider Your Contracts
Value-based contracts are some of the best for increasing profits. They may require structural changes, but the benefits are worth it.
Don’t forget to look at your payer contracts as well. If you bring a proper pitch backed up by patient data that shows how valuable your practice can be, you can negotiate much better terms that lead to more money.
5. Consider Your Staff
Developing a support team is another delicate balancing act involved in running private doctor’s offices. It’s not just about finding the most qualified individuals but ensuring that you have the right number of them.
Private practice doctors require three to five staff members each on average. These extra hands improve efficiency and customer service.
There is a danger of becoming overstaffed, a mistake that can cost a practice a great deal of money over time. Support staff costs should never exceed $16,000 per doctor. Low morale from bored employees is one of the best signs you may have too large of a team.
The type of staff you hire is just as important as the size. In fact, 37% of the time doctors get with their patients is spent on administrative tasks like data entry. Transcriptionists, scribes, and other important staff members can free up this time so doctors can look their patients in the eye and give them the attention they deserve.
6. Use Data and Rankings
Private practice doctors can use the information available to them to develop a practice specification. That this choice alone increases the chance that your practice will last past its first two to three years.
Find information on other doctor’s practices in the area to decide what your specialization should be. What services do patients need, is it readily available somewhere else, and how can you distinguish yourself?
Another way you can see how you measure up to the competition is to use rankings. Look at other doctor’s practices to find out their medical incomes, staff and patient numbers, and other important info. Use it as inspiration to see where you may need to make changes to increase profits.
7. All Private Practice Doctors Need a Medical Answering Service
The number of doctor’s office phone calls has increased 25-50% since 2008. Even the most heavily staffed private clinic may have trouble managing all the calls they receive, but a medical answering service helps lessen the load by taking some of them for you.
Each call costs doctor’s practices an average of $15-20. The money isn’t covered by insurance and must come directly from the doctors’ pockets. A medical answering service only charges $0.75-$1.05 per call, letting you keep more money as profit.
In addition to cost savings, the peace of mind that a medical answering service provides to patients and doctors is priceless. Everyone can rest assured that someone with enough knowledge to answer patient questions will be available at any time of the day and during any emergency.
Medical answering services can also increase your profits by reducing staffing costs and ensuring customers don’t go somewhere else for treatment when their questions don’t get answered. Check here for more reasons all private doctor’s offices need a medical answering service.
Where to Get Help
Private practice doctors need to consider how to maximize profits to keep their business running as long as possible and serve patients effectively.
There are several effective ways of doing so, including improving efficiency and customer service, negotiating contracts, regulating staff and patient numbers, using all available data, and hiring a medical answering service.