Integrating ancillary services is one of the best ways to diversify your medical practice, enhance the patient experience and boost your bottom line. Not only will you meet more of your current patients’ needs, but you will also create opportunities to gain new ones.
Benefits For Existing Patients
Additional services will let your existing patients know you are committed to their comprehensive health and wellness, improving patient satisfaction and building upon their overall patient experience. A large comprehensive global study by the Health Research and Educational Trust demonstrated where primary care practices serve as a "one-stop shop," patients perceive better quality of care, especially in the areas of accessibility and continuity of care. Providing your patients with additional necessary medical services at your office will make it more comfortable, convenient and encourage better healthcare outcomes for patients. The trust has already been established. Patients will feel much more secure in a familiar office with staff and providers they know.
Providing additional services in your office can also have the added benefit of saving your patients money versus expensive referral alternatives. Instead of making another appointment somewhere else with a specialty provider, your patients can get the care they need in-house with potentially lower co-pays and lower cost sharing under many insurance plans which in turn will lead to greater patient access.
Benefits For Providers
As your existing patients begin to take advantage of new services, you will have the chance to create a development plan for referrals. Asking your patients to tell others about your new ancillary services is an efficient (and free) way of putting your practice on the map and generating more revenue. Integrating ancillary services can be done at minimal expense by utilizing a trusted third party or with capital investment by the practice to fund the new service.
Providers often refer patients out simply because they do not have the tools or resources available to offer the treatment their patients’ need. Developing your own ancillary services or using a trusted third party to help carry the load of adding additional services are strategies utilized by more and more practices every day. According to the 91st Medical Economics Physician Report, 4 out 5 physicians surveyed offer at least one ancillary service in their practice.
In addition, you will be able to make better use of current resources. A recent survey performed by Porter Research in conjunction with the MGMA on November 1st, 2020 showed that a shocking 72% of respondents said they are only utilizing their exam rooms between 60-69% effectively. The message here is put your real estate to work. Implementing your own ancillary service program or partnering with a trusted third-party service provider to maximize the value of your real estate can help fill that void.
Ancillary services can be the right solution for both providers’ and patients’ needs. It’s a win-win. That said, not all ancillary services are created equal. Make sure you assess all aspects of your practice to ensure which services are right for you. Start by analyzing your demographics, doing a deep dive on your EMR for possible high diagnosis identifiers associated with certain ancillary services and facilitating conversations with patients to identify their needs. That way, you can make an informed decision to diversify your practice, gain new patients, drive revenue and get some more of that all elusive commodity, time.