Good article with some good suggestions relative to taking a look at a medical practice and some simple evaluations to see where business stands...BD

You've been in private practice for several years, but lately you're not as busy as you used to be. You're worried because you have no plans to retire or even to slow down, but practice income is dropping and you've begun to think about laying off staff.

What's going on here? Have several other physicians set up shop in your area? Have third-party payers raised co-pays or otherwise discouraged patients from making office visits? Has the local transportation department rerouted or canceled buses, making it tougher for some patients to get to your office? Are your staffers driving people away? Are you? To find answers, you'll need to determine which patients you're losing, what—if anything—they have in common, and what changes have occurred in the market.

You may have the same size patient roster as you had the last few years, but patients are coming in less frequently—perhaps because they're self-medicating, or because their deductible and co-pays have increased. Maybe more of them have been switched to health savings accounts, which many suspect will reduce physician utilization.

A CPT analysis can also help you determine the kinds of patients you're losing...."Maybe the doctors who used to refer to you have relocated or joined another health network," ....And be sure to market to your existing patients, especially if you add an ancillary service as a means of expanding your's worth your while to have periodic staff training sessions in which you address patient complaints about staff behavior and other matters, and talk about how check-in/checkout and phone calls should be handled.....if you still can't figure out why you're seeing fewer patients, bring in a consultant to assess your practice and offer professional advice.

Is your practice running on empty? - Medical Economics


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