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We all want to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs, but you can’t care for patients if you can’t keep the lights on.
Here’s the deal: Of course we all want to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. These are big challenges the healthcare industry is up against. But the bottom line is really, well, your bottom line. You can’t care for patients if you can’t keep the lights on. At the end of the day, you are running a business. Whether or not practices outright state it, just like any other business, the ultimate goal of providers and healthcare organizations is to have a healthy balance sheet.
While the strategies may seem simple-attracting new patients and/or getting your current patients to be more consistent in their care-it is often an uphill battle. However, based on your specific revenue goals (as well as your practices’ current strengths and weaknesses), there are a lot of ways to do this, and any practice can be successful with the right balance of techniques and tools.
Add new patients
This kind of goes without saying, but the more patients you provide care to, the more revenue you bring in to your practice. But what are the most effective ways to increase the number of new patients visiting your practice?
Boost recall efforts
Does it feel like more and more patients are becoming inactive? You’re not just imagining things. Americans are visiting their healthcare providers 19 percent less often than they did in 2000. As your regular patients start to disappear, so does the revenue they bring with them. As regular visits to providers continue to fall, recall efforts have never been more important. Here are a few quick ideas to give your recall program a little jumpstart.
Unleash the power of the internet. From social media to email, there are lots of great ways you can connect with patients online. Doing so will help keep your practice top-of-mind with patients, even between visits.
Reduce no-shows and cancellations
The average practice sees no-shows rates of 23 percent-and those numbers can be significantly higher depending on your specialty. That’s almost one in every four patients just not showing up! Each one of those lost appointments is expensive (ranging from $140-$310, depending on specialty). Fortunately, there are things you can do to help alleviate no-shows and cancellations.
As you focus on both increasing the number of new patients and maximizing the appointment attendance of current patients, your practice can expect to see significant improvement in its bottom line. Consider implementing one or two of these methods at a time and then continue to add additional strategies over time. As you do so, you will start to see the improvements in your revenue that you are aiming for.
Josh Weiner is chief operating officer of Solutionreach.