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Bring More Money Through the Door With Ancillary Services

Your GPO Has You Covered

A group purchasing organization (GPO) like Provista can help practices set up ancillary services in-house by offering advisory services, and facilitating best pricing on products, services and facility remodeling to launch and grow new lines of business.

There’s no doubt that physicians operate in a difficult reimbursement environment. Fee-schedule changes and the ongoing migration toward value-based care are among the forces fostering widespread uncertainty. That’s why now is the time to seriously weigh strategies to offset escalating payment pressures.

One option physician clinics may want to consider is expanding the array of services they offer. Roughly one in five physicians have looked at adding ancillary services in response to the volume-to-value shift, according to Physicians Practice’s Fee Schedule Survey.

Adding services such as diabetes education and consulting, weight loss and dietary services, physical therapy and therapeutic massage or allergy therapy can be a great way to boost profits while also improving patient care.

Adding services such as diabetes education and consulting, weight loss and dietary services, physical therapy and therapeutic massage or allergy therapy can be a great way to boost profits while also improving patient care.

Add Weight Loss and Dietary Services

Nearly 40% of adults are considered obese, according to data from the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. So, the chances are that you’ll visit with patients who would benefit from a program that helps aid in weight loss.

Several medically supervised weight-loss programs are available on the market. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, they include:

  • Behavior (diet and exercise) modification.
  • Prepackaged meal replacement.
  • Weight-loss medication.

Startup costs for a primary-care practice are minimal and could generate $30,000 to $50,000 in potential income per year, cites MedConverge, a provider of physician billing and related services.  

Offer Diabetes Education

Some 30 million Americans have diabetes, including 7 million who have not yet received a diagnosis, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another 84 million—roughly one in three Americans—have prediabetes.

If your practice serves a large number of patients with this chronic condition, providing diabetes education and management services can be a great way to enhance patient care. Your population may benefit from strategies for:

  • Managing blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Hands-on training in the use of insulin pens, pumps, glucose meters and other diabetes-related equipment.
  • Tips for managing medications.

According to the American Association for Diabetes Educators, adding a diabetes educator to your team can:

  • Free up physicians to focus on direct patient care.
  • Help the practice meet quality improvement goals.
  • Monitor your patients’ progress.
  • Motivate lifestyle changes that may stave off diabetes complications.

Add Even More Services

Clinics have opportunities to further grow their businesses with other ancillary services. They include:

Lab testing

Medical spa (med spa) treatments

In-house pharmacy

Selling previously used equipment

Provide Physical or Massage Therapy

Does your practice generate a substantial number of referrals for physical therapy (PT)? What if you kept those visits in-house? To make it work, you’ll need trained staff plus sufficient space for people to exercise.

PT may be recommended as part of a plan for treating a range of conditions, from back, knee and post-operative pain to headache and cancer-related fatigue.

What about offering an on-site therapeutic massage service? Massage therapy may be useful for pain and depression, and it has few risks when offered by a trained massage professional, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

And as much as 18% of American adults report having discussed massage therapy with their healthcare provider in the past year, a consumer survey by the American Massage Therapy Association reveals.

Consider In-House Allergy Testing and Therapy

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, says the CDC. Common allergens include food, pollen, animal dander and mold.

Offering allergy testing and immunotherapy services not only creates a new revenue stream, but it also eliminates the need for patients to find an allergist outside of their primary care physician office. Using an outside supplier can keep costs to a minimum and could be worth up to $70,000 to $120,000 in potential income per year, Medscape reports.

Seize Untapped Business and Clinic Opportunities

Faced with reimbursement challenges, fiscally savvy physicians should consider untapped opportunities to bolster their bottom line. Adding ancillary services that match the needs of your patient population is one way to bring more money through the door.

Before diving in, make sure your practice does its due diligence. Consider the reimbursement potential given your current patient mix as well as administrative demands and clinical requirements.

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