Shifting Economies Require Concerted Efforts To Retain Profits
There are many difficulties involved in running a lab out of your practice. One of the most difficult to surmount comes in the form of diminishing financial stability. Without a constant increase in your yearly profits, your business will stagnate, and may very likely go too far in the red to continue functioning properly. The less you make, the less cutting-edge your medical provisions will be, which functions as a downward spiral discouraging additional business. Conversely, the more successful you are, the more patients you’ll accrue. Following are several ideas to help you increase your success in the lab so that you’re on the positive end of the profitability spiral.
One of the most important things to consider when it comes to generating increased revenue in your lab is the regularity of patient testing. Oftentimes yearly, annual tests will be ignored by patients. They’ll find some excuse or other, and won’t come in. If you really want to increase your lab revenue, you want to engage your patients, build a relationship with them, and continuously encourage them to get the proper testing done. You’ll want to call them and remind them at intervals. For annual tests, give them a reminder a few months out, then a few weeks, then a few days. They still may skip on you, but it will be less likely. If you’ve built good rapport, and a good relationship, then this will be much easier.
Your practice may often be getting paid through the insurance of your patients; but sometimes insurance plans have exceptionally high deductibles which predicate lab work at a very high cost. It’s perfectly legal to inform your patients that they are under no obligation to accept those prices. As a matter of fact, patients can pay your practice directly. You set the prices, and an entire revenue stream manifests.
Since your cash prices are lower than if the patients had the lab work completed via insurance company, they get a deal, and you are able to increase the patients at your practice.
This one can be a bit chancy, but Medicaid statistics indicate that one in three patients do not show up for an appointment at your patient office lab. You likely also know that follow-up patients are apt to cancel, or be party to a “no-show” event. So identify segments of your patients on the schedule that have the highest likelihood of missing their appointments for one reason or another, and then double-book those slots. Add on top of that either a no-show or cancellation fee when lab work or surgeries are necessary. Many patients are still going to cancel at the last minute; if you’ve got a double-booking for some minor operation, then you can still maximize your effectiveness. If both patients show up, provided the lab work or surgery is minor, you’ll likely be able to still fit them both in. Remember the patients in your waiting room likely won’t be aware of the procedural exigencies defining your operations. Just be wary not to shoot yourself in the foot by applying these principles on complicated procedures, or to the wrong group of patients.
Three simple ways to generate more revenue in your lab include:
- Double Booking and a Cancellation/No-Show Policy
- Cash Prices
- Properly Engaging Patients
Try some of these principles over a period of time and see what works best for your lab. The general idea here is to “trim the fat”, as the saying goes. The more streamlined your operations, the more profitable.