Why is it Important for Physicians to Consider Implementing Ancillary Services?

While the pursuit and practice of medicine is a higher calling, successfully monetizing the physician’s practice plays an increasingly larger role in assuring that that the good doctor will continue to pursue that calling. A business, like any other, the physician needs to develop a keen awareness of potential revenue streams, and structure their practice with an eye on capitalizing on those opportunities. Increasingly, business savvy surgeons and perceptive general practitioners alike are looking to the market advantages of adding ancillary services to their current menu of services.

Vertical and Horizontal Selling

From corporate moguls to mom and pop convenience store operators, selling ancillary services is crucial to economic success. As an example, consider the percentage of annual revenue that accrues to a car company offering in-house financing for their automobiles. This financial service is a seamless ancillary service that pairs naturally with the company’s primary mission: selling automobiles. These ancillary services–in this case automotive financing–affords the car manufacturer the chance to garner additional revenue streams through the offering of in-house financing, which also facilitates the company’s primary mission of selling the automobiles in the first place.

Similarly, the corner convenience store owner goes to great expense of offering the sale of gasoline, as classic ancillary services, knowing that the availability of fuel will draw customers into the store to purchase products with a much higher markup. In other words, selling gas at near break-even prices; the availability of ancillary services act as a draw for the busy commuter, who will be more likely to purchase the 200% marked-up blueberry muffin sitting beside the cash register.

The Future of Healthcare

Moving forward, the successful medical practice will look at ways of offering ancillary services, which will not only help control costs and provide additional revenue streams, but will also offer real value to the patient’s overall experience with the physician. Health practitioners know that the industry is in flux, and nowhere is this more evident than concerning the consumer expectations that patients are now bringing to the examination table. Simply stated, patients, as consumers, are looking for the same levels of convenience from their healthcare providers as they do with other aspects of their interaction with the market place.

Ancillary Services in the Healthcare Field

Thinking outside the box, just about every medical specialty offers an avenue for offering ancillary services. For instance, a specialist in the field of orthotics would find numerous avenues from which to offer an array of services aimed at augmenting the patient’s overall health care experience.

  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychology Testing
  • Drug Testing–toxicology
  • Drug Dispensing
  • Diagnostic MRI Testing
  • Cutting Edge Laser
  • Electro Myogram Services

As mentioned, inclusion of ancillary services should be done only after the health benefits to the patient are weighed, and the numbers have been crunched to determine whether the move makes sense from a business management point of view. Towards that end, the following caveats should be considered prior to implementing big changes to the business plan of the struggling practice.

  • Focus on Patients
  • High-Quality Care Should be Less Costly
  • Centered on Full Cycle of Care
  • Innovations Should be Rewarded

Making changes to the way health practitioners offer the ancillary services demanded by an expectant consumer marker, who also happen to be their patients, will result in creating value that is financially and medically beneficial to both parties in the treatment regime.