9 Ways Doctors Can Generate More Revenue

As a medical professional, how will you respond to falling fees, rising costs and higher taxes? Here are 9 ways you can continue to enjoy the personal, professional and financial rewards that attracted you to a career in medicine.

Stop losing money.  A penny saved is a penny earned.

  1. Address your billing practices. A medical billing expert remembers the day his new client showed him his “Porsche drawer” filled with rejected insurance claims.  This physician knew that if he contested the rejections, he could fund his dream car; he just never found time. Are you doing everything you can to get paid for the services you render?  Most doctors see significant increases in cash flow when they turn their billing into the hands of the outsourced billing experts.
  2. Look for found money.  A practice management expert tells me that virtually every medical organization leaks money, and he knows where to look.  He guarantees his results—putting more money in doctors’ pockets by patching the leaks.
  3. Protect yourself against fraud.  Do you have checks and balances in place to help keep your honest employees honest?  A colleague told me that she should have listened to her intuition about her “trusted office manager.”  She discovered that over the years, this person embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Get paid more. You can increase your practice revenue through ethical, professional approaches.

  1. Identify profitable activities. Mine your billing data to get a handle on the revenue generated by each of your daily activities.  In a fee-for-service practice model, you exchange your time for money. Calculate your “hourly wage” for each procedure you perform or kind of patient you see. Then consider the level of personal and professional rewards you get with each activity. From that you can gain clarity about what your ideal day looks like.  You may decide to narrow your scope of services. You may find a “sweet spot” like the dentist who discovered he likes working with phobic patients. There are any number of ways you can attract more of those best-fit patients.
  2. Add services.  If you run a busy practice, it might make sense to set up an in-house formulary that could increase your patients’ medication compliance as well as generate more revenue.  Maybe you consider adding a cosmetic service for which patients pay out-of-pocket. Maybe you decide to hire physician assistants or nurse practitioners so that you can spend more of your time  engaged in sweet-spot activities.
  3. Sell products.  Consider offering products that help patients achieve the desired medical outcomes. A veterinarian could sell pet food, toys and educational materials.  A dermatologist could sell skin care products.  I met a pulmonologist who created an effective smoking cessation program, which he sells nationally through his practice.

Earn outside of your clinical practice.  Your value transcends your ability to diagnose and treat individual patients.  You can help many people in many different ways, and get paid for it.

  1. Moonlight.  You could serve as an expert in medical malpractice lawsuits.  The benefits include your ability to review cases on your own schedule, generate a high hourly wage and gain insights that made me a better doctor. You could take locums positions, serve as a director in medically-supervised weight loss programs,or get on staff at assisted living facilities.
  2. Shift to a non-clinical career. You could offer leadership to medical organizations, launch a business venture or work in companies that sell medical products and services. You might consider generating revenue through speaking or writing or coaching.
  3. Make investments.  You can make your money work for you.  Be sure to vet any business opportunity with an expert who can evaluate the level of risk and impact on your bigger financial picture. You can help people across the globe, educate people whom you never personally met and deliver value in unique ways.  This offers unprecedented opportunities for you.

I do not believe the golden age of medicine is over; I think it’s just beginning.

by Vicki Rackner, MD

 

Vicki Rackner MD, President of www.MedicalBridges.com, helps doctors enjoy the personal, professional and financial rewards that attracted them to a career in medicine.  She leverages her experiences as a surgeon, clinical faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine and entrepreneur to help physicians and dentists thrive in the era of ObamaCare. 

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