Heightened interest and enhanced payments are a welcome change for the beleaguered primary care medical community. For years, its reimbursements have lagged behind those of specialty practices. The  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s provisions — including insurance coverage for children up to age 26, funded screenings and exams, and subsidized insurance pools, to name a few — are all coming into play. These changes are a lifeline to a vital but endangered area of medicine that appeared to be on its last legs.

7 Ways to Build Primary Care Practice Revenue

  1. Extend Practice Hours: By offering extended office hours on evenings and weekends, you’re not only enhancing patient satisfaction but also opening up opportunities for patients who may have busy work schedules. This convenience factor can be a powerful draw for new patients, enabling your practice to tap into a broader patient base. Reorganizing schedules may seem challenging, but the long-term benefits in terms of patient loyalty and growth potential make it a worthwhile endeavor. (Learn how to hire and implement physician extenders)
  2. Offer More Timely Appointments: Providing same-day or short-wait appointments demonstrates your commitment to addressing patients’ urgent healthcare needs. Beyond preventing patient attrition, this approach fosters a reputation of reliability and responsiveness in your practice. In today’s competitive healthcare landscape, these prompt appointment options can be the deciding factor for patients choosing your practice over others.
  3. Maximize Your Marketing: Developing a patient satisfaction survey not only gauges patient experiences but also showcases your dedication to continuous improvement. Health fairs and screening days can position your practice as a community health advocate, fostering a stronger patient-provider relationship. Leveraging your physicians’ leadership roles not only highlights their expertise but also establishes your practice as an authoritative source of medical information, further bolstering your marketing efforts.
  4. Offer New Or Expanded Services: Successful practices create multiple revenue streams. For example, you may want to add services such as:
    • Developmental pediatric screening
    • Joint Injections
    • Audiometry
    • Simple-fracture care
    • Pulmonary-function-test interpretation
    • In-office laboratory testing

    It’s often possible to add such services while incurring relatively low capital expenses. Meanwhile, you’re providing more convenience to your patients and generating additional revenue.

  5. Delegate Care As Appropriate: Empowering non-physician staff members with expanded responsibilities leverages their expertise, allowing physicians to focus on more complex medical cases. This not only optimizes patient care but also boosts staff morale as they contribute meaningfully to patient outcomes. By creating a collaborative care environment, your practice ensures that each team member operates at the peak of their capabilities.
  6. Add Patient Visits To The Physician’s Day: Efficient scheduling practices enable physicians to accommodate more patients without overwhelming their workloads. By strategically incorporating additional patient visits, your practice can significantly augment its revenue stream. Careful planning ensures that the quality of care remains uncompromised while optimizing the utilization of existing resources.
  7. Manage Overhead: While revenue growth is essential, minimizing expenses is equally impactful on your practice’s financial health. Regularly evaluating fixed and variable expenses identifies potential areas for cost reduction without sacrificing patient care quality. By maintaining a lean and efficient operation, your practice can maximize its profitability and allocate resources to areas that directly enhance patient experience and care.

By reducing the medical insurance premiums primary care physicians pay for their employees, the healthcare act’s upcoming medical insurance exchanges development for small businesses might offer one important way of shaving expenses for smaller practices.

A more supportive primary care environment is up on us and practices that take steps now to expand revenue, while increasing patient convenience and services, could attain a level of success not possible in years past.

Learn more by contacting Andrew McDonald at amcdonald@lbmc.com or call 615-309-2474 for more information on implementing physician extenders.