Growing your practice is rarely easy—it requires a tremendous amount of focus, effort, dedication, and perseverance. Learning how to manage that growth while ensuring continued quality in patient care is paramount to your long-term success. But, none of that is possible if you can’t accelerate revenue. So, where should you start?
The faster you can generate new revenue opportunities post-pandemic, the more quickly your practice will be able to bounce back and capitalize on new opportunities. In a study completed by Fitzroy Health, healthcare leaders ranging from “board members to venture executives at 74 U.S. health systems and academic medical centers” were interviewed and had their health system-backed initiatives analyzed. This study found that 100% of the participants acknowledged the importance of diversifying revenue.
90% of these subjects indicated that novel revenue streams are an urgent priority that leadership teams are counting on to show positive results in the next three years. But, less than 3% of those who considered it an urgent priority reported that they had budgeted for non-operating revenue. This indicates that uncertainty and reactive (rather than proactive) practices are impeding the development of new revenue streams for healthcare.
While there are dozens of strategies that can help your practice achieve growth, we’ve compiled some steps for accelerating revenue and increasing healthcare profit margins that we think warrant consideration and implementation.
Establish a Formal Referral Program
Many studies have been done on referral programs, and the collective data conclusively demonstrates that patient referrals are extremely effective. However, they are also extremely underutilized as a means for accelerating revenue (by bringing in new patients). According to Dale Carnegie, 91% of customers would give a referral, but only 11% are asked to.
Creating and implementing a formal referral program allows your patients to help your practice grow by making them brand ambassadors. Ultimately, people trust the opinions of their friends, family, and close inner circles. They know that they have similar tastes, and they trust that the person giving the referral has their best interests and happiness in mind. And, since referral leads convert 30% better than leads generated through other marketing channels (R&G Technologies), this offers a great way for you to grow your practice.
It may depend on your specialty, but there are several ways to develop a referral program that can help you tap into this new revenue stream. For example, you can set up email marketing lists that contact patients after appointments and ask them to rate their experience and share it with their friends. You can also offer giveaways for successful referrals, create referral competitions, or offer discounts on services or products (where appropriate). For instance, a chiropractor may be able to offer a free massage for patients who successfully refer someone, or a dentist may offer a Yeti cooler to the patient with the most referrals at the end of the quarter. Whatever your practice or specialty, you can be creative in your move toward a better referral program, and thus, better revenue.
Expand Your Offerings
For most health care practitioners, directly monetizing a service or care offering just isn’t possible. Besides the ethical questionability of asking people to pay more for better health care, it’s simply not allowed by most regulations and laws.
However, creating new offerings that are free of charge can have several positive effects on your profit margins: an increase in patient satisfaction increases retention and can lead to referrals; offerings that save you time can mean more patients on the daily roster; and tools that lead to better patient outcomes mean better statistics, which can mean better funding, more competitive hiring, and fantastic marketing material.
These individual recommendations may or may not apply to your specialty or practice, but we think there is always a way to offer your patients more. Healthcare needs are always evolving, and this can present excellent opportunities to accelerate your revenue.
Integrate Options for Telehealth
Time is money, and the more time you have, the more patients you can see. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to popularize telemedicine—technology that was already available but little used. However, post-lockdown, there are still hundreds of thousands of at-risk people who would prefer the safety of home to the potential dangers of a crowded doctor’s office.
You can serve these needs and make more efficient use of your time with telehealth appointments. Telehealth allows you to quickly go through medication refill appointments, post-operative assessments, and other routine appointments. And, as a bonus, it keeps your patients safer and keeps them from becoming grumpy during long waiting room times. Increased patient satisfaction is always a win.
We understand that it’s not always possible—or in the patient’s best interest—to conduct a telehealth appointment. But, having the option can really set your practice apart.
Build a Library of Content
You do everything you can for your patients, but they will always need more than you can give them during office visits—more time, more information, more instruction, etc. However, meeting these needs can increase patient outcomes and satisfaction. Patient empowerment is a powerful tool that you can harness for your practice without sacrificing your current schedule or the needs of your other patients.
Building a library of easily-accessible content can help your patients get the information and instruction they need without having to go directly through you. Visually appealing infographics on administering their own treatments and medications, videos explaining the surgery they’ll be undergoing, checklists of post-operative prep and instructions, and emails that trickle proactive and preventative healthcare information are just a few of the many ways you can utilize content to care for your patients.
The internet has made information globally accessible, and there is great good in that. But, there can also be great harm with self-diagnosis, questionable medical advice, or outdated information. Your patients trust you. You can build on that trust by providing them with everything they need to succeed in their health goals.
Accelerate Revenue In Your Practice
This is by no means an exhaustive list of new revenue streams for healthcare. But, if you’re intrigued by what you’ve read, and you’d like to hear more ideas based around your practice’s specialty and specific needs, contact iProv today at 501-653-6532 for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to sit down and help you strategize ways to begin diversifying revenue and taking advantage of new revenue opportunities (post-pandemic) over the next few years. At iProv, our #1 goal is helping your practice grow.