Medicare reimbursements are down, way down, and they are poised to go lower still. But savvy doctors are not seeing this as a death knell to their practices, but rather, an opportunity to grow.
We are not an entirely government funded healthcare system, yet. There is still room for capitalism within this noble humanitarian profession.
The new normal is that we don’t get paid as much for the services that are most needed by older adults, the ones on Medicare. And that’s not something that we can change. In this game we are payment takers, not payment setters. OK, let’s accept that and move on to the things we can change. We have more in our repertoire than those top 50 ICD 10 codes.
It’s true, reimbursement for disease care services ARE down. Folks will be sick and that’s when they seek us out. But, once they are in our door, it is up to us to not just treat their symptoms, but to promote their health and wellness by offering them other services – ones that they may not even be aware that you offer – ones that they think they have to go somewhere else to get.
If you don’t offer anything in the way of ancillary services, now’s the time to put that on the menu. Start by thinking about which procedures and tests your practice is referring out. Could you do them in-house with an investment in equipment or training? Then investigate the types of ancillary services that are growing in popularity in your area. Is there a market for these services within your current patient base? Are these services covered by insurance or paid for by patients out-of-pocket? You need to think outside of the box – the box that your patients write in the “reason for their visit.”
Having multiple services at the same location is providing convenience, cost savings, efficiency and a continuity of care that adds immense value to your relationship with your patients.
Now you need to inform your existing patients of these new offerings in your practice, and that’s where we come in…