Careful choices will build a bigger, more profitable private practice!

If you’re a reader of this column, you know we advocate Practice by Design™. In fact, we wrote the book on this! If you don’t already own copy of Living and Practicing by Design, grab it off Amazon today!
doctor who looks like he means businessBut what does this really mean to you as a private practice owner in this day and age, especially with mandates from third parties, federal government, and economic stress?
Primarily, this means that unless we are very careful about our policies and procedures, private practice will be more difficult than it needs to be.
One of the biggest choices that will influence profitability and, especially, the stress level of your practice, are the patients you choose to accept—or refer on.
This is one of the most difficult things for new practitioners to learn. But those of us who have been around for awhile understand completely the disruptive factor that even one uncooperative—or, frankly—unpleasant patient can have on an entire practice!
This is true now more than ever, as private practice patients are being called upon to pay partially, or completely, for out-of-pocket—the health care that many of us in our private practices provide each and every day. So what’s the solution? In my opinion, patient selection begins with the very first phone call. Your staff should have a darn good idea right from the very beginning who is liable to be difficult, and who is more serious about getting better.
Also, there is no reason today for any private practice to have financially unfriendly policies and procedures. There are now easier ways than ever to make care affordable for patients.
But all this means you need to engage in regular top-down management and training of your entire team. Since patient selection begins on the phone, spend some considerable time developing a proper intake system for your private practice.
This is where reviewing telephone scripts, web forms, and even patient emails can tell you a whole lot about prospective patients. I know this is something you may never have considered, but take my lead on this.
Careful choices will build a bigger, more profitable private practice!
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