With payment models changing and physician reimbursements declining, medical practices are increasingly required to do more with less. There are ways, however, for practices to start making more money without spending a dime on medical marketing services. Here are four simple suggestions you can try:
1. Smarter Schedule Management
Your schedule generates revenue for your practice – but if it’s poorly managed, it can be a main source of revenue loss instead. Unfilled appointment slots, for example, represent time that your practice isn’t billing for. Training for front office staff can help ensure that patients are being scheduled strategically.
If you need to double-book a patient to prevent them from seeking care elsewhere, do it. Just make sure your staff fits them in between a Medicaid or follow-up patient, as these patients are more likely not to show up for an appointment (25 to 50 percent cancel or no-show). As long as one of the scheduled patients comes in, your practice wins.
2. Appointments for Prescription Refills
Approving prescription refills over the phone takes time and costs your practice money – and if the patient isn’t scheduled for an appointment any time soon, your practice isn’t going to recover those lost costs. One way your practice can start getting paid for refill requests is to require appointments in certain situations.
Patients who have been prescribed a medication for the first time, for example, should be scheduled for follow up in 30 days to make sure there aren’t any problems with the prescription. You can also establish a policy requiring patients to come to the office for an evaluation if they need to refill prescriptions after 90 days.
3. Email Marketing
Staying in contact with your patients year-round can get them thinking about your practice and services even when they don’t think they need them. A newsletter is one inexpensive way to keep in touch with patients and encourage repeat business. You can promote new services and special offers and keep patients informed about health issues that matter to them.
Getting a newsletter set up is easy using an online email marketing solution such as MailChimp or ReachMail. Both services feature professional pre-designed email templates and offer free plans that allow users to send up to 12,000 or 15,000 emails each month, respectively.
4. Target the Right Patients
Sending general newsletters out to all your patients is one thing, but you should also be emailing specific groups of patients that are more likely to require appointments and make your practice more money. This includes:
- Patients who are due for annual physical exams or preventive care check-ups
- Patients with chronic conditions who are due for follow-up appointments
- High-risk patients, such as seniors, who can benefit from the flu vaccine
To find who these patients are, you can run reports in your EHR or practice management software. These systems are full of valuable data you can obtain for free.
Did you like this story? You might be interested in:
Four Low-Cost Ways to Attract New Patients and Grow Your Practice
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