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Ancillary Services that Fit Your Practice

As reimbursement declines, one way to enhance practice revenue and profitability is by adding ancillary services. These assist in maximizing practice profitability, while providing patients with the convenience and continuity of in-house care. Integrated clinical services also can increase productivity, revenue and patient retention.

The following three-step process will help you determine the best ancillary services for your practice.

Conduct Patient Demographic and Referral Audits
Relying on reimbursement for services rendered no longer works on its own. Orthopaedic practices can differentiate themselves from other general medicine practices by offering specialized ancillary services. Conduct an in-house audit to identify the ancillaries your practice utilizes today.

Then, to effectively recognize the needs of the practice, understand your patient demographics... age, income range, education level and severity of cases - and your inbound and outbound referral sources.

Are you commonly outsourcing an ancillary service that fits with your current and potential patient population? Integrating services needed by your inbound and outbound referrals provides you with a patient-centered continuum of care with the goal of improving continuity of care, compliance and outcomes.

Determine Needed Resources
Adding physical therapy and other conservative treatment to your practice will grow in importance as we move toward an era where patient information and empowerment sit front and center. Your patients will appreciate not having to go to several different offices for treatment or referrals. Once you've identified a list of potential services that fit your practice, you need to understand what providing that service entails: More space, more employees, more expenses?

Physicians generally underestimate the amount of physical space needed and overestimate the current volume of ancillaries they actually use. The business plan must clearly outline positive and negative outcomes in order to support a successful transition.

Consider Purchasing Methods
As much as your practice would like to only consider the best-case scenario, you must have a plan in place if it doesn’t work out; there is no rationale in spending thousands of dollars to improve your practice just to have it fail in the long run.

Scheduling Solutions: How to Maximize Revenue with the Right Patient Mix

If you're concerned about whether or not purchasing is fiscally possible, look into leasing equipment. This allows you the ability to update as technology improves, so you are not left with outdated equipment. On average, 20 percent to 35 percent returns are seen on practices that utilize imaging services such as CT and MRI scans.

Most importantly, make sure management is on board. Remember, ancillaries are also a business, and mismanagement can cause them and your practice to fail. Ask yourself: What do I do well and what can I capitalize on? How will it impact my staff and patients? Is there a demand for the service? Can I do it better than the competition?

 Learn More
Who We Are
The Business of Spine - April 19, 2010
How Spine Surgeons Can Help to Lower Hospital Readmissions
Reimbursement for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

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