NP Business and Trade Tip: Ideas to Diversify Your Practice Income

Many practices are being squeezed in the middle these days. Reimbursement is being reduced (or rules are being made to reduce it) and overhead is rising. It is simple economics when it comes to having a profitable practice…more money has to come in than go out.There are many ways a practice can increase their income — seeing more patients and reducing overhead are just two of the ways you can achieve this. Another is income diversification — increasing the products and services you offer to your patients and clients.When exploring your options you will want to me familiar with the Stark Laws (basically, you cannot refer only to your services), and you need to make sure the product/service is congruent with your practice model. For example offering Botox makes no sense if your practice is pediatrics or mental health. With that said, here are just a few ideas to help you brainstorm what you can add on to your practice to generate more in revenue.If you are not getting enough visits, consider changing your services to offer walk-in/ a-la-cart type services in an after-hours format. Your own patients will then come to your office rather than the urgent care down the road and you’ll attract more clients who may become your primary patients.Pharmaceutical Dispensing. This will depend on your own state laws, so be sure to check your practice act first. You can order and dispense medications and supplies at a profit to your clinic. consider other oral and injectable medications. You’ll need adequate storage and be familiar with dispensing guidelines.
Business Services. Offer services to local businesses. Perhaps they need pre-employment physicals, drug screens, wellness program or available for quick appointments for on the job injuries. You’ll be able to set up contracts with many of these companies and become their go-to office for services.
Leasing/Subleasing. If you own a building or lease a large office, consider leasing/subleasing out space to compatible services. Think mental health, nutrition or massage therapy.
Specialty Procedures. Consider various procedures such as filling lap bands, cosmetic procedures and tattoo removals. All of have the benefit of being generating cash revenue, eliminating additional cost of billing insurance.
Laboratory Services. If you are sending all of your patients to an outside laboratory for needed lab work, consider bringing it in house. You can negotiate a contract with your lab service, draw the labs in house and bill the patient for the services. You’ll often be able to increase your own revenue while offering patients a significant savings.
Weight loss Programs. There are a variety of weight loss programs you can take advantage of, that offer tremendous benefit to your patients while increasing your bottom line.These are just a few of the ways you can think outside the box and offer valuable services to your patients while you increase your revenues. When evaluating any of these services, be sure to weigh your patients needs and of course, add value to their lives and experiences.Your Actions Steps: Assessment: Sit down and look at your practice income. Where does your income come from? Which payers are paying what percentage of your gross income? Additionally, if you have not already looked at your overhead do so now. How efficient is your office running? Where is the waste (which is in almost every office)?
Brainstorm with your partners and staff different ways you can add services and/or products that make sense. Put all ideas on the table even if they feel like they don’t fit.
List the pros and cons of each idea to get a sense of what really might work. You’ll want everyone involved in this process. If you don’t feel like you have enough ideas, start asking your clients what they would like to see in your practice. Consider adding a suggestion box — you’ll be amazed at the feedback you get — especially when it’s anonymous.
Read your state practice act to be clear on any rules/regulations that may interfere with your plan.