6 Smart ways to reverse declining profitability

Running a private medical practice can be rewarding, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges, chief among them being declining profitability. As operational costs rise & patient expectations evolve, finding innovative ways to respond to & reverse declining profits becomes crucial because the repercussions extend beyond financial figures alone. 

Reduced profits can have a significant impact on every facet of a medical practice. It can affect your ability to invest in cutting-edge equipment, hire & retain skilled staff, & in extreme cases, provide top-notch patient care. 

In this blog, we’ll explore some of the common reasons why medical practices experience a drop in profitability & six smart strategies to boost profitability & revive the financial health of your business.  

Common reasons why profitability declines: 

Medical practices can experience revenue loss & therefore profitability for a variety of reasons. Unsurprisingly, most reasons are rooted in inefficient billing & RCM (Revenue Cycle Management) processes. Here are some common examples of how profits get lost:

  • Incomplete or incorrect documentation: Inaccurate documentation can lead to coding errors, which in turn can result in underbilling or denied claims. 
  • Coding & billing errors: Incorrect medical coding, whether it’s due to insufficient training, oversight, or outdated codes, can lead to rejected claims.  
  • Claim denials & rejections: Claims are denied by medical insurers for various reasons, some we’ve already mentioned. Denials often require time-consuming & resource-intensive follow-up efforts.
  • Inadequate staff training: Inadequately trained billing & administrative staff can lead to errors in billing & coding, claim submissions, & follow-ups, resulting in revenue loss.
  • Unbilled services & consumables: When services & consumables provided to patients are not properly documented & billed, it means missed revenue for your practice.
  • Delayed claim submission: Submitting claims retrospectively has been proven to result in higher bad debt & ultimately, lost revenue. Claims & invoices should be submitted in real-time, at the time of service. 
  • Failure to collect co-pays & deductibles: As above, delays in collecting patient co-pays, deductibles, or outstanding balances can also result in bad debt & financial losses. 
  • Underutilisation of technology: Inefficient or outdated billing & practice management systems can result in errors, delays, & missed revenue opportunities.

If you are still using manual processes to manage your billing & patient collections processes, there is a good chance that you are leaving money on the table. Something that no business can afford to do in today’s economic climate. Fortunately, all is not lost. By aligning your business with a leading healthcare technology partner, you can not only to streamline day-to-day operations & enhance patient interactions, but also inject renewed vigour into your practice’s profitability. 

Here are 6 smart ways technology can reverse declining profits at your practice: 

  1. Optimise your revenue cycle with an AI-powered medical billing solution 

Billing & claiming processes can be time-consuming & error-prone. Bolstering your Revenue Cycle Management with a billing solution that uses AI can significantly improve accuracy & efficiency. Automated coding & real-time claim submission reduce the risk of denials & rejections, ensuring you receive timely payments for your services.

  1. Invest in Practice Management Software

The right practice management software can streamline your practice’s administrative tasks & essentially, open the doors for more patient appointments. Choose a solution that can automate appointment scheduling, patient records management & integrate with your medical billing solution. Another benefit to an integrated practice management solution is that by reducing the administrative burden on you & your staff, you have more time & capacity to devote to exceptional patient care.

  1. Leverage data analytics for informed decision-making

If your profits are dwindling, you need to know what to change & how to change it. Your practice data is a goldmine of insights waiting to be tapped into. With the right solution, you have robust data analytics & reporting at your fingertips. With this information you can track key performance indicators, identify cost-saving opportunities, & optimize resource allocation. Making informed decisions based on data can lead to more efficient operations & higher profits. 

  1. Offer remote patient monitoring for expanded reach & revenue 

The ability to consult with & monitor patients remotely is a game-changer in healthcare services. For one, by extending your services beyond your physical practice, you’re attracting patients who value convenience. Remote consultations reduce no-shows because patients are more likely to keep follow-up appointments & chronic disease management check-ups. Not only are you offering better quality care but you’re also increasing your revenue & putting a stop to declining profits. 

  1. Enhance patient engagement for loyalty & referrals

Happy patients are more likely to return & refer others to your practice. Make use of simple tools like BulkSMS as an easy way to offer personalised communication, appointment reminders, & health education. Tools like this foster stronger patient-provider relationships & contribute to higher patient retention rates.

  1. Outsource your administration 

If you don’t have extensive staff resources or you want to reduce your administrative burden without implementing software, you can outsource your practice admin to a Bureau service. Outsourcing is like having an internal admin team without the overheads of salaries & staff management. 

Going back to the typical reasons for declining profits, you can see how the right healthcare technology partner can play a significant role in mitigating the risks associated with revenue loss. How many of these strategies are you leveraging in your private practice? Review the list to determine how you could be inadvertently decreasing your profits & start the process to reverse the trend. 

Contact Healthbridge for sound advice & expertise to help you embrace smart technology solutions & services designed to support the success & profitability of your private practice. Get in touch at sales@healthbridge.co.za or bureau.sales@healthbridge.co.za & an experienced Business Consultant will be in touch to discuss your individual needs.