The Golden Age of Private Practice Medicine
The Golden Age of Private Practice Medicine
While America’s entire health care system is struggling, physicians have their own kind of practice-related struggle. A successful doctor is not the one who overworks themselves. They are also not the one who builds an empire of a clinic that has 30 staff members but barely breaks even every month. A successful physician is one who understands the landscape of healthcare in the 21st century, and leverages that knowledge to be profitable and offer superior patient care. Before we discuss how the golden age of private practice is still ahead, let’s first talk about what is not working in private practice healthcare in 2019...
One of the most dramatic mistakes a physician makes is buying very expensive medical equipment that insurance stops reimbursing a year later. Every single year there’s a new fad in the world of medicine. Physicians start buying new promising medical equipment, at very high cost, and market them as the latest and greatest new invention. From medspa equipment to allergy testing to compounding creams - it seems like every year there’s a new fad that makes the rounds in the medical community. A year later, new machines hit the market; and, the physician’s previous equipment or service will age out. That same machine that was just bought, less than a year ago, stopped dripping revenues; and, the doctor starts running in circles. This is what is called the shiny objects syndrome.
A successful practice is not the one chasing after shiny objects. It’s the one that is based on a steady powerful evidence-based protocols and which puts patient care first. In the long run, clinics that understand both the business side of running a clinic as well as the importance of patient care are always the ones that win out.
Another mistake adopted by physicians, that is becoming very widespread, is exhausting the patient with unneeded testing. Unnecessary testing and labs can be overwhelming for patients - and prevent them from coming in more frequently for care. Clinics will not skyrocket their revenue from stressing the patient out and making them more fearful of medical care. A physician will make more profit by targeting more patients; however, not at the expense of the quality of care. That being said, a health caregiver needs to wisely manage his time and look for tools to help him succeed.
Another mistake many clinics make is “staff bloat”. Hiring a big team of personnel, like nurses, technicians, secretaries, billing managers, and others can often lead to higher overhead without adding profit to his or her practice. Having a concise well-picked team is the key to success.
Many physicians often attempt to increase their patient base through heavy social media marketing efforts. While these can sometimes help, often when not managed properly they can consume existing profits without bringing a hard ROI number. If you have social media marketing going on, do you know the ROI off the top of your head? If not, it may be wise to reconsider if that’s the best approach to growing a clinic. Having a higher overhead will not bring success and fame. A physician should be able to focus on the quality of care that is being offered to every patient, and often the clinic will grow organically.
Finally, it is wise to realize that patients always look for added values to their doctor’s visit. They need an evidence-based practice, with the most accurate results. They do not want to go through unnecessary and duplicate tests, with possible inaccurate diagnosis. They need stability, skills, assurance and affordability.
How Thriving Clinics Operate: The Golden Age is Still Ahead
The medical world is becoming a competitive industry. Thousands of physicians are graduating every year; but, what makes one better than the other? What makes one physician, in a simply decorated clinic, have a dream-worthy net worth? It is all in the operating fundamentals of the practice. Many physicians don’t know about simple tips and tools they can use to make their practice thrive. At Heartwise, we hep physicians to earn more money while decreasing the workload on themselves. We teach them to work smarter, not harder. And above all, we show them how to get compensated appropriately or putting patient care first.
First of all, a thriving clinic needs to wisely pick its personnel. Hiring anyone with some qualifications will not cut the deal. A physician needs to gather, effectively, a good team of professionals. Keeping the team concise, necessary and well-trained, is a must; and, efficiency its driving force. At the end of the day, from a business perspective it doesn’t matter how much a clinic is making in gross revenue, it is all about where the money is going and how much profit is left.
A successful practice will not need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, it will rely on previously developed successful techniques and methods. Why start from scratch, when you can use the knowledge of other clinics and experts at helping clinics grow? Legacies, in the world of medicine and health care, are the results of hundreds of years of research and evidence-based findings. They are initiated by top hospitals and universities; and, yield powerful results. By studying the most successful clinics, we see a number of patterns emerge.
Many physicians do not know that a focus on preventive health and patient care can be the most profitable way to grow a clinic. At Heartwise, we specialize in helping physicians to monetize preventive care to an astounding degree of effectiveness. Many physicians are so caught up in the day to day routines of just running a clinic that they don’t know there is a better way - one that allows them to work less hours and make more money. The area that we see physicians struggling with the most is that they are overworked and underpaid.
In fact, the average Internal Medicine PCP makes over $1.6 MILLION dollars for others each year, while only making just $186,000 in average annual take home pay.
Physicians are on the front lines of patient care, while making only 10% of the amount of money they make for insurance, labs, and other entities.
One method that we use to help physicians monetize their practice better is by billing correctly for preventive health assessments. Often physicians don’t know that there is a better way to bill - how to legally and safely bill using proven methods that insurance companies love.
Intrinsically tied into every successful private practice is the software that the clinic uses. Having the right tools gives power to the practice. It needs to be well explored and carefully picked. Not having the clinic's EMR set up correctly with pre-populated fields can waste thousands of man-hours of time and energy. By setting up the EMR correctly to fill in fields automatically can help your staff and free up time for them. Time is money; and so is quality. Everyone involved in the clinic need to be organized, well-versed and trained to use the necessary tools to make the patient’s experience a one of a kind. One that will change his or her life for the better.
Billing and Equipment Tips
Every physician clearly remembers the long years studying in medical school. All the challenges and long night studies, will surely pay off. As soon as the physician graduates and decides to open a private practice, stress overwhelms his mind.
One of the most important parts that help run a good practice is the billing and coding. Every physician needs to be on top of the latest research in billing. Caution needs to be taken when picking a third-party billing partner.
For example - if a physician is not refilling at least 30% of all insurance claims, they are missing out on thousands of dollars. No physician in America wants to admit that they might not be doing the best job billing, and they all love to think that they are amazing at billing and have the best staff. But often times claims get denied or reimbursed less than what they should because insurance companies use automated denial systems. By refiling and appealing every possible claim, physicians can make thousands of additional dollars each month.
It will be the physician’s responsibility to review the performance of the billing partner, as well as its history of profits and success stories. Also, when deciding on a company, every physician needs to ensure a continuation in training and educational tools that his personnel will be offered, as part of the service. Simply by asking your billing team or personnel for a daily summary has been proven to decrease denials by over 50%.
Coding correctly will facilitate negotiations with insurance companies and ensure the best end result. A clinical staff needs to stay ahead of the latest developments in the world of billing and coding.
How to Increase Profits
Running a health care practice can be tricky. There are many aspects, forgotten, that can boost both your financials and revenue streams. Having an appealing clinic (on the outside and inside) and focusing on its cleanliness and comfort can be inviting to many patients. A good website with social media accounts can help increase the visibility of your practice. A successful physician picks products, equipment and software with great reviews and high authority to make his work smarter and not harder.
When you are in the healthcare world, you need to improve productivity and manage your resources properly to increase your profit. Also, offering state-of-the art services can be regarded as added value for patients. Every patient wants to end up with the most accurate diagnosis and projected risks. Adopting a reputable software can facilitate both reimbursement as well as patient outcome.
While America’s entire health care system is struggling, physicians have their own kind of practice-related struggle. A successful doctor is not the one who overworks himself. He’s not the one who builds an empire of a clinic.
One of the most dramatic mistakes a physician can make is thinking that seeing as many patients as they can for office visits somehow improve their financial situation.
That's only exhausting to physicians and usually leads to staff bloat without an appropriate return on investment (or return on time).
After reviewing hundreds of clinics across America, at Heartwise we’ve found that an efficient primary care office should be generating 80% of revenue from diagnostics and 20% from office visits. This is the ratio that the most successful primary care clinics in America use.
However, diagnostics should not take up too much of the physicians time. A physician is just one person and needs to delegate and when patients get diagnostics.
Also, teaming up with the majority of insurance companies will widen the scope of work. When a physician is resorting to preventative healthcare, insurance companies are encouraging Americans to resort to preventative medicine. This will improve individuals’ quality of life; and, reduce foreseen costs on insurance companies inflicted by curative care. At Heartwise we help physicians to skyrocket revenue by leveraging the power of preventive assessments - fully reimbursed by insurance. Did you know that insurance companies lose $1,000,000 every time a left ventricular assist device is required for a patient? Smart physicians will take advantage of this fact by leveraging preventive health - and getting reimbursed very well for it.
Why Preventive Care is So Important
Every single American, regardless of his age, marital status, income or even perceived health status has a chance to prevent chronic illnesses. Heart diseases, cancers, diabetes, stroke, unintentional injuries, and lower respiratory diseases are causing millions of premature deaths among our population. Mortality and morbidity rates are on the rise.
There are three different levels of prevention. The primary prevention is the group of the tests you take to prevent an illness or injury, way before it happens. This includes regular health testing, immunizations and lifestyle changes. The secondary level are the measures you take to have an early diagnosis of a certain illness. It prevents the progression of diseases. The tertiary prevention are the measures you take once you develop a certain illness or disability. Primary prevention is the most effective form of disease prevention and health promotion. It helps maximize the quality of life of people; and, prevents a high YPLL (years of potential life lost).
The CDC estimates the loss of productivity, due to highly preventable illnesses, to be around two hundred and sixty billion dollars per year. They believe that most Americans are under-using preventive services. Based on our experience working with hundreds of thousands of patients across America, this is true. Before working with Heartwise, Physicians often don’t know that preventive health can be incredibly profitable!
Preventing an illness before it happens will help the person enjoy a long healthy happy life. Preventive services can also help halt the progression of a certain disease into a more impactful stage. Chronic conditions drain our economy and the quality of life of our population. People should not wait to get sick to visit their doctor.
For those who value their quality of life, preventative care is the most important decision you can make for your health. It will help you take control of your health and manage every aspect of it. It is always much easier to prevent a chronic condition, than to have to treat it. Preventive measures can be simple but highly effective. Most of the time, all you have to do is change some lifestyle choices, with the help of your healthcare provider. When taking the right preventive tests, you can foresee a future problem, years in advance. This will enlighten your path in life.
An effective and wisely developed preventive care system can help you control your risks. It prevents you from becoming another statistic.
Perfecting the entire health care system in America can be challenging. It involves upgraded regulations, new laws, different policies and a nationwide healthcare education and guidance. This reform can take long years before it turns into a success story. However, such an impactful change can begin in the heart of your clinic or health center.
Here at Heartwise, hundreds of years of evidence-based research and practice from pioneering universities like Harvard and University of Minnesota have been compiled into a sophisticated algorithm.
Heartwise’s goal is to empower physicians and encourage them to provide a better preventative health care to their patients, while maximizing their profits tremendously.
Heartwise is the only preventative health solution that is fully covered by all major insurance providers - for over a decade.
To learn more, please use the link below to book a short 10-minute call.