What Should a Practice Consider Before Implementing any Ancillary Service?

All professional fields have trends that change over time, and the medical field is no different. Traditionally, private practice has been a desirable position sought after by medical professionals, providing physicians with a more traditional day job, increased quality of life, and a better connection with patients. Unfortunately, the current insurance and economic climates have shifted, putting the futures of many private practices at risk.

In order to stay competitive in the market, many practices have begun implementing ancillary services, or additional health care practices designed to attract patients and increase revenue.

Many private practices that require additional revenue have found an outlet through patient benefits such as

  • orthotic bracing,
  • psychological testing, and
  • drug dispensing

By promoting better patient outcomes, doctors are able to keep their current patients and attract new ones, making a significant difference in their practice’s revenue cycle.

With a financial interest in mind, many practices around the country are eager to take advantage of an opportunity to increase profits. However, as with all business decisions, choosing to provide new services to patients is not one that should be made lightly. Making the choice to implement ancillary services should be done carefully and only after proper consideration.

Choose an Ancillary Service that Fits Your Practice.

There are many points the doctors within a medical practice must discuss before making the decision to alter a current business model. Firstly, it is important to choose services that fit with a practice’s current goals. There are dozens of ancillary services a practice can consider, but not all will be the right fit. For example, diagnostic screening may be very valuable to a large orthopedic practice while drug dispensing services can be a worthwhile investment for a pain management clinic. Choosing ancillary additions that are most useful to your practice’s standard patient is the most effective way to build further.

What Will It Cost to Implement?

The cost of acquisition is also a significant factor practices need to consider. While diagnostic screening equipment could be valuable in many practices, new MRI machines cost over $2,000,000, a cost many practices cannot justify. In addition, the support certain services require should also be considered. An MRI requires a technician who can conduct the proper tests, and a drug distribution center requires a pharmacist, creating additional human capital costs on top of securing space or purchasing equipment.

Will This Service Make Your Practice More Competitive?

The potential in your market is a very important factor as well. Different parts of the country have different medical emphases, and similar practices within a market must rely on the needs of the community to remain competitive. The size of your practice and your competitive influence must be a critical part of the consideration process.

In addition to these large points, there are numerous other factors to ponder, including identifying your target market, making a plan to advertise your new services, reaching out to your target customer base, and recognizing the potential related services you could include as your practice expands. Choosing a direction only after a logical analysis of what your practice can offer is far more valuable than selecting an ancillary service on a whim and hoping everything works in your favor.

Increase Your Reach, Attract New Patients, Stay Competitive

Making the decision to expand your private practice can be a positive, upward move for physicians hoping to break the cycle of declining profits. Adding the right ancillary services has the ability to increase your reach, attract new patients, and keep your practice competitive in the local and national market. With the right approach and consideration, making a choice to implement additional services can be the change your practice needs.