Patient revenue cycle
management is tough to navigate in all forms of healthcare, especially in
dermatology. Use these five tips to discover issues in the revenue cycle of
your dermatological practice so you can reduce the cost of collections and
increase operating income.
Tip #1 - Pinpoint failures
The greatest lessons come
from our mistakes. Follow statistics that report negative industry practices to
find where your revenue cycle management might have been blown off course. For
example, check out the recent MGMA survey that cites staff shortcomings when it
comes to customer service and revenue cycle management. Use a database like
MGMA to pinpoint assessment failures particular to your specialty.
Make a point to instill
opposite practices of those that failed and to enforce proven, effective
practices that were not executed. Taking this initial preemptive measure is the
first step to stopping revenue cycle interruptions.
Tip #2 - Consider
Quite often what clogs our
revenue cycles is the lack of hands on deck. Consider outsourcing back-office
tasks like customer service or patient revenue cycle management to a universal
software solution. For example, HealthiPASS has created a patient payment
solution to prevent patient relations from getting stuck at low tide by
promoting price transparency, building trust, and increasing your operating
income. We help dermatology medical providers to simplify the check-in process
and streamline patient payments through an innovative, multi-channel software
Outsourcing can help you
manage the red tape that threatens to overwhelm your patient revenue cycle.
Hiring the appropriate support agency allows you to maximize revenue, reduce
the cost of collections, minimize back-office stressors, and optimize operating
Tip #3 - Follow dermatology
To keep the business end of
your practice sailing smoothly, your team needs to stay ahead of market trends
that show impact changes in the market that may have an effect on dermatology
staff and on patients. Use the data to forecast potential problems on the
horizon. You can then start considering how your dermatology practice will
navigate these problems as they arise.
Market reports can be
costly. If you can’t afford to purchase the latest updates, consider conducting
your own basic research. Watch the corporate news surrounding your suppliers.
If they have a critical revenue issue, it could affect you on some level.
To effectively examine
current and upcoming waves facing your practice, we recommend using resources
primarily intended for dermatology research and corporations. Consult these
specialty-specific sources first, and then cross-reference them with contributing
Follow updates exclusively
on financial news sites that keyword source dermatology. For example, this
article on Bloomberg discloses how Novartis AG considered selling its generics
division in November.
Questions to Draw from This
How would this affect the
cost of their services/products?
How could that cost
eventually trickle down to your overhead if you use products manufactured
How will this affect the
cost of manufacturing and sale of new products that the AAD has mandated are
Should you consider a
different supplier that offers the AAD recommended product at a better cost?
Go further with this
analysis by forecasting trends for the year before they ever become market
effective. Begin with a resource like this PubMed repost of an AAD market
research review. Written in October, 2017, it is not brand new information but
instead offers you a ballpark range in trends proceeding into this year. Make a
note of this study’s conclusion as you continue to research your general
marketplace. Take your research findings and use them as the launching point
for revising and maximizing your preventive measure research.
Tip #4 - Follow dermatology
Patients are your customers
in most cases. They come to you with highly personal issues regarding their
health and wellbeing. Their opinions will be the most accurate gauge of your
Usually, patients come to
you after they’ve exhausted other options. This is especially true with
dermatology, as there are many over-the-counter options available now for
dermatological conditions. This means patients are comparing your results and
performance to your entire industry and not just other doctor’s offices.
If your patient wasn’t
happy with their prior practice, find out why. Follow medical forums that
discuss things like billing and customer service. Check out reviews of
dermatology practices on business review sites such as Yelp or Google. These
sites can be a rich source of information for you on how to improve the
patient-facing components of your practice. What did patients love about the
other dermatology practices they’ve chosen to review? What positive components
of other similar practices can be implemented to improve your own? As you compile
data from these sources, consider hosting your own social media interviews to
have your patients answer a set of customized questions that target areas of
Tip #5 - Review related
As a practice that treats
skin-related issues, you must keep skincare patients at the forefront of all
your business venture targets. Reviewing the revenue cycle issues and
complaints of skincare product and cosmetic providers will give you even more
insight into your patients’ choices.
Skincare patients tend to
be informed consumers of skincare services and products. These patients are the
ones who spend time researching products and ingredients and may come to you
seeking advice on which new products are right for them. Keeping up-to-date on
current skincare consumer trends and weighing in with your opinion of popular
products shows that you are in touch with the skincare concerns and desires of
your patients. Being informed on the
latest skincare trends also gives you an idea of what needs to change in your
own practice. It will give you a sense
of the products, tools, etc. to invest in at your practice and what to avoid.
Making wise calls in investments will spare you hiccups in your revenue’s
delicate balance as well.
Balancing all things
It all comes back to
balance. The most important piece of advice we can give you is to always
maintain balance between market research, implementation of new processes, and
patient reception. Practice all five of these tips when applicable. If one does
not logically work for your time or resources, eliminate it. Seek the course of
action that works for you, allows your practice to navigate market waves
effectively, and brings your practice’s revenue safely into port.