5 Questions to Ask About Adding an Ancillary Service
Thinking about adding an ancillary service such as laser therapy to your practice? Adding such services are a good way to boost your income and grow your practice. To gauge your readiness, it's a smart idea to ask yourself these five questions to ensure that you and your practice are adequately prepared.
As a start, think about whether there's a natural connection between your current practice offerings and this new service. For example, adding massage or laser therapy to your practice makes a lot of sense for orthopedics, neurology or family medicine, but perhaps less so for pediatrics or cardiology.
Your current patient base can serve as an ideal focus group. Have your staff ask them about the new service and if it's something they would consider using.
Consider the upfront investment needed for equipment as well as hidden costs, such as cost of ongoing training, maintenance or any additional staff.
At the same time, map out what you can reasonably expect your return on investment to be. It's a good idea to be generous in your expectations for expenses and conservative on what you expect your income to be.
Finally, make sure that with everything else going on in your practice, you can devote the staff and time to launching a new program. If not, perhaps table the idea for a few months, then reevaluate. But if you've asked yourself these five questions and have received positive responses to each, it's clear your practice is ready.
Ancillary services in medical practices can be effective ways to relieve some of the stress on net income that results from increasing costs and decreasing reimbursements. It all depends upon the answers to these five basic questions.
- Are the prospective ancillary services consistent with your practice's brand?
- Is there a market for the ancillary services within the practice's patient base?
- What is the total investment required?
- What is the reasonably expected return on the investment?
- Given everything else that is going on, are the expected benefits worth the practice's time and attention?
Ancillary services present valuable opportunities for additional revenue and net income. They are not, however, guaranteed to deliver positive outcomes, and the devil is always in the details.
This article excerpt, by Carol Stryker of Physicians Practice, originally appeared here: http://www.physicianspractice.com/blog/should-your-medical-practice-add-ancillary-services.
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