The ongoing global pandemic isn’t just taking lives. It’s also hurting health care facilities across the country. A report from the Becker’s Hospital Review revealed that 15 hospitals have shut down this year. Rising costs was one of the reasons attributed to the closure of these facilities.
If your medical practice is feeling the pinch, you’ll need to take measures to tighten the belt. Reducing your expenses will help you weather these difficult times and allow you to remain profitable. But not every measure works for every business. For example,renting a virtual officemay not be suitable for medical clinics because they need a dedicated space.
Here are eight ways to cut your practice expenses:
1Move to a More Affordable Location
Rent is one of the expenses you can control. If you find your monthly rent to be too costly for your practice, look for inexpensive locations for your clinic. But don’t sacrifice the price of your commercial lease by choosing an office that’s difficult for your patients to reach or find.
2Use a Practice Management System to Eliminate Incorrect Billing
A major financial headache that haunts health care practices is improper billing and coding in various areas of the patient billing process. Incorrect billing can happen due to several reasons, including sloppy documentation, duplicate billing, and sluggish collection of patient receivables.
You can avoid billing and coding issues by deploying a practice management platform. This system simplifies your clinic’s billing and claims process, and offers automated medical billing. By automating your billing, you minimize unnecessary health care costs that can drain your business finances.
3Hire Interns for Your Medical Practice
Interns are valuable to health care facilities of all sizes. You can ask them to take on various tasks, such as patient outreach, clinic marketing, and processing of administrative paperwork.
Getting interns does more than save your medical practice money. It also provides you with fresh perspectives and ideas, which can help grow your business.
4Ditch Paper Mailings
The cost of using postal mail is rising, putting pressure on health care facilities that depend solely on paper records. An easy way to save on costs is to encourage patients to opt-in to paper-free appointments and doctor’s prescriptions.
Start by using an online appointment system that enables patients to schedule a preferred date and time with their chosen physician. Instead of mailing appointment reminders, your health care facility can email or text notifications about appointments and follow-ups.
5Collaborate with Other Clinics
Buying in bulk can save your business money. If possible, team up with other medical offices when purchasing the following:
- Medications that should be available in your clinic
- Doctor’s equipment, such as stethoscopes and otoscopes
- Supplies to keep the office spotless and sanitary, such as rubbing alcohol, baking soda and bleach(for clinics that want to practice eco-friendly cleaning) and medical waste bags
Then, do a collective negotiation with the supplier. This strategic move drives down the purchase price and allows you to enjoy cost savings.
6Reassess Your Relationships with Vendors
Health care providers form long-term and solid relationships with vendors. This, however, may result in spending more cash than necessary to keep the relationship. Before the contract renewal date rolls in, look at all probable vendor alternatives and determine which provider offers excellent value for their products.
7Improve Appointment Scheduling in Your Clinic
Wasted appointments due to overscheduling, improper scheduling, or patient non-attendance can strain your clinic’s finances. Patients unable to secure an appointment due to incorrect scheduling, for instance, have to endure long wait times.
If you need help in this area, hire an administration specialist who could schedule the correct number of appointments per day, fill vacant slots with patients and take measures to get patients to follow their assigned appointment date and time.
Improve Patient Education
Wasted time is wasted money. When doctors are educating every patient with the same spiel on the same health issue, they lose the opportunity to take on other revenue-generating activities, such as performing special medical treatments. Your health care facility, therefore, should take steps to streamline patient education.
One example is to create videos on a particular medical service or health condition. The video should:
- Describe the medical topic or service
- Explain why that topic or service is important and relevant to the patient
- Complications and risks associated with the treatment or illness
- A “What’s Next?” portion that compels patients to perform an action, such as see a doctor or arrange an appointment
These eight measures will save your medical practice money and increase profitability. Managing your overhead expenses can be tricky, as cutting corners may undermine patient care. You, therefore, should find the “sweet spot” by trimming excesses without compromising on quality.