By SONDA EUNUS, MHA, CMPE, CPB
Orlando Medical News continues this series of answers to questions from readers dealing with issues faced by practice managers in our healthcare community.
We encourage readers to send questions they face in everyday practice. Use the subject Practice Management Challenges to firstname.lastname@example.org
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1. What additional services can primary practices offer to generate more revenue?
There are various ways that a practice can generate additional revenue from ancillary services and products. For example, a primary care practice may choose to offer allergy testing and immunotherapy services by partnering with an allergy testing lab (ex. BioTek Labs). This is an easy partnership in which the practice physicians refer patients for the testing, which is then done onsite. Many other types of lab testing can also be implemented. Another way to generate additional revenue would be to have an onsite pharmacy, so that patients are able to fill their prescriptions immediately. All of these options are convenient for the patients, and profitable for the practice. Some practices have also greatly profited from offering new services by leasing medical equipment that they did not have the capital to purchase. These are only a few examples of ways to implement additional revenue sources, it is up to each practice to determine which services would be the most appealing to their patient base.
2. What can our practice do to recruit more physicians?
Physicians, as most employees, are motivated by much more than just financial compensation when considering a job offer. They want to join a team with a vision that they can buy into, with leadership that is honest, fair, ambitious, and passionate about the success of the practice. Physicians want to work with nurses and other ancillary staff who enjoy their jobs and anticipate their physician's needs. Aside from creating a great work culture, there are several other ways that a practice can become more appealing to a physician candidate. Tuition reimbursement is greatly appreciated by physicians, as they frequently have large sums of outstanding student loans. Some medical practices can qualify to become a loan forgiveness site, and be able to offer tuition reimbursement at no cost to the practice (https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/). Health insurance is usually desired by candidates, and smaller practices may find that the costs of offering group health insurance are very steep. Additionally, the plans offered usually come with a high share of cost for the employee as well. One way to bypass this challenge is to offer health insurance reimbursement, in which an employee obtains their own health insurance plan, and the practice then reimburses an agreed-upon percentage of the premium. Finally, compensation packages are usually most effective when a base salary is combined with a productivity and quality incentive system, which motivates physicians to see more patients, while still maintaining the practice's standard of quality.
Sonda Eunus, Founder & CEO of Leading Management Solutions has a background in managing a multi-location pediatric primary care practice, and truly enjoys medical practice management. She holds a Master of Healthcare Management, and a BA in Psychology. She enjoys sharing her work experience and knowledge of the healthcare field through her consulting work and her writing. She founded Leading Management Solutions, a healthcare management consulting firm, out of her desire to assist medical practice managers and physician owners in the successful management of their practices, by providing services that she herself needed while managing her practice. Along with a team of experienced and knowledgeable consultants, Sonda aims to make Leading Management Solutions a one-stop shop for medical practices by offering a variety of needed services that add great value to any healthcare organization. She can be reached at email@example.com