In this unprecedented economic environment, you have to make critical decisions and changes to keep your practice healthy.
Your patients will always need you. Can you be there for them?
How can you continue to provide services at your level of care?
It is almost impossible to understand the economic news. Where do you start to cope with this?
This is what I am doing with my clients. First, decide what you can control. How can you reduce your costs without damaging your practice? Second, determine what you can influence. How can you retain and increase your income?
What You Can Control
Examine your expenses. Determine which costs to eliminate, reduce or leave untouched.
Review your insurance coverage. Is it too much, too little or redundant? Are you covered for what you think you are?
How about your employees? Review their duties, hours, benefits and number. Are you overstaffed?
Do you use outside services? Should you keep them? Or should you discontinue them? Should you increase them and reduce your staff?
Do you have service contracts? Are they protective? Should you cancel them? Should you reduce them? Or is it best to continue them unchanged?
Should you convert to electronic medical records?
What You Can Influence
Evaluate your income. Decide how to retain and build referral sources. Reinforce your long term and best referrers. Reestablish relationships with people who have stopped referring to you. Seek new referrers.
Are your managed care contracts profitable? Should you disenroll, renegotiate or limit the number you participate in? Consider becoming a non participating provider for all third party payors. All of my clients who are now non participating wished they had done it sooner. Physicians provide the highest level of medical care. You are irreplaceable.
Lesson: When facing uncharted waters, don’t plot your course alone. Get expert advice to define the basics of what you need to do to reach your goal. Decide, then row, row, row.
A Word of Caution: Don’t make irrevocable or long term decisions. What Congress does or does not do about Health Care Payment Reform will affect you.
How to Cut Expenses Without Killing Your Practice