Five Things You Need to Know Before Growing Your Practice

Five Things You Need to Know Before Growing Your Practice

Like life, medical practices don’t stand still.

You might be looking to change or expand your practice but might wonder how. To start thinking of change, you might want to ask yourself a few questions first.

Where are you and your staff in your careers?

your staff in your career

Before expanding your medical practice, you’ll want to examine where you and your staff members are in your careers.

Are you or your partners planning to retire in the next few years? If you are, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t make any changes to your practice. But you might want to reconsider any large-scale expansions or drastic revisions.

That’s because if you’re early in your career or in the middle of it, you have the ability to plan and manage more major changes and reap their rewards while continuing to work. Or, if something goes wrong, you’ll have the ability to actively work to change and improve any unsatisfactory situations.

Also, if you continue to work for a while, you’ll still be receiving active income to finance any changes you want to make or expenses you need to cover.

Is your staff eager and equipped for change?

staff eager and equipped

Most medical practices aren’t one-person operations. Checking with your staff is important before making any changes, especially major ones.

Are your employees nervous about any technology changes or upgrades? Consider paying for workshops, seminars, or classes that could help familiarize them with technology, keep their professional statuses current, or update their skills in ways that could benefit the entire practice. When they return, they could help teach you and your staff.

Teaching is particularly important when you’re implementing new software systems or making other changes. Sharing knowledge beforehand could prevent confusion and frustration in the future.

In addition to education, feedback is also important when considering office alterations. Ask your employees which changes could help them complete their jobs and serve your patients.

During these discussions, you might find that small tweaks might be more useful than large revisions. Or staff members want to change areas of the practice you weren’t even considering.

It might be a cliché, but here, it’s true: you might not know something unless you ask.

Is your technology ready to grow with you?

technology grow

Skills aren’t the only aspects of your office operations that might need a little refreshing.

What’s the status of your technology? Investing in new software or hardware could make your tasks a little easier or even a lot easier.

Considering what your practice does and what it wants to do could help you determine which technology switches or upgrades are right for you.

Are you thinking about opening new physical locations? Incorporating more telemedicine into your operations? Both? Treating patients in-person and online requires different digital and physical configurations to consider as well as considerations about the staff members you may need to handle such duties.

Taking your practice in a new direction might require different kinds of tools than you’ve used before. If you want to start selling products, such as eyeglasses and contact lenses, you’ll probably want to create web pages that describe them.

You’ll also want to incorporate digital solutions that allow you to store and access your patients’ eyewear prescriptions, place orders, track inventory, and handle bills. Maybe you’ll also add tools that allow patients to order eyewear themselves from your website.

Updated technology could help you do all that and more.

What’s your billing situation?

billing situation

Since patients will be buying eyewear and paying for appointments and treatments, your office will need to issue bills and related documents.

But as with other aspects of managing medical practices, billing is not a straightforward process, or even a single procedure. It often consists of several steps and several entities that do different things.

For example, some of your patients may have private health insurance, some may participate in government-backed insurance programs, and some may have a combination of both. Some patients may pay entirely out-of-pocket, maybe paying on a sliding scale that your office may offer.

Due to the potential complexity of billing processes and multiparty participants, technology could once again assist your office.

Software systems could help you generate the merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) reports needed to determine Medicare payments.

That’s because software solutions allow your practice to integrate several functions. They’ll integrate your patients’ medical records from their electronic health records (EHRs).

Such systems could also simplify dealings with other insurance providers, helping practices provide correct information and submit and track claims. They could also help practices issue and monitor bills as well as collect payments.

In addition, integrated software systems could help your office chronicle the results of these efforts, informing you how quickly patients paid their bills or if they have outstanding payments. Knowing these facts could help you analyze and possibly revise your billing practices so you could generate revenue that could help you grow.

What are the demographics of your patients?

demographics of your patients

Electronic tools could also help you study your patients’ demographics and how they relate to your practice.

You might be thinking about opening another office, but you might not know where. By gathering your patients’ addresses in your software system, you could look for regions where many of them live and think about opening locations in those areas or nearby places.

Looking at your records also allows you to check the ages of your patients. Are many of them young or starting families? If that’s the case, you could steer your practice in ways that could serve them.

For eye care practices, hiring an ophthalmologist or optometrist who has training and experience working with children and younger people could be a good start. This professional would work with the patients you have now and could attract other people looking for specialized assistance.

Knowing you have a younger clientele could help you in other ways. If you provide eye care and sell eyewear products, you could stock eyeglasses and contact lenses for younger users and create literature and websites geared for them. You could outfit your office’s optical area with seating and mirrors of different heights and provide other conveniences for patients of all ages.

Assistance is also important for health care providers. By contacting Eye Care Leaders, you’ll receive help to find the right office software and other digital solutions.

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