Happy New Year

Crazy December?  How about crazy year?  I’m sure we’ve all got a few resolutions on our list.  Here are some thoughts for clinics looking to expand their practice through medication dispensing or other services:

1) What are your plans for growing revenue in 2009?  Downward pressure on reimbursements continues.  Now, more than ever, physicians are being forced to look beyond straight services to expand their base of revenue.  Are you evaluating pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals or other products as practice enhancers?  New or existing dispensing systems may enable you to easily add products to your mix.

2) What are the biggest threats to your practice?  Are your medical supplies prices increasing? Are your referrals decreasing?  Many hospitals and physicians are reporting a decrease in procedures.  Physicians need to actively track these trends and look for ways to address them proactively.  Trends may be avoidable but you are not helpless; there are always options.

3) Who’s on your team?  Does your staff mix bring additional value to patients through enhanced services or extended hours?  Clinics carrying non-value added resources need to carefully consider their options.  Many clinics have leveraged physician time through nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  Reimbursement rates may affect the viability of these resources but they should still be considered. 

4) What are you doing to be different or enhance your practice? Are you doing anything with nutrition, anti-aging, disease management or weight management?  Trends may be down but there are people looking for specific treatments. Do you continually evaluate new options and procedures for your practice?  No time? Can you afford not to?

Though I remain biased towards physician dispensing as a low-cost, low-risk way of enhancing your practice.  There are many alternatives.  The winners in 2009 will find ways to extend their services, add extra value to existing patients and attract new ones.  Will that be you?

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