Attracting and retaining staff has never been more competitive and expensive. Couple that with the highest inflation in more than four decades plus shortages caused by supply chain issues, and it’s no wonder that most practice owners are doing what you can to cut their overhead expenses. When figuring out ways to minimize the overhead at your practice, please consider these steps:
Replace Labor Intensive Front Desk Functions with Automated Solutions:
The highest cost at most healthcare practices is staff expenses, and some of the work you ask your front desk staff to do is very labor intensive as well as quite repetitive. To minimize the cost of your front desk staff, start by utilizing one of the available software solutions to efficiently communicate with your patients for the following tasks:
- Confirm appointments
- Fill the schedule after cancellations
- Re-activate patients who haven’t been to your office for a while
- Send out surveys
- Prompt for online reviews
For medical practices, take a look at Weave, Klara, or Relatient. For dental practices, take a look at Revenue Well, Lighthouse 360 or Smile Reminders
Also consider outsourcing the labor intensive and repetitive tasks of patient billing and collections on any delinquent patient accounts.
Spend Your Marketing Dollars Wisely:
Most practices spend about 1% – 2% of their collections on marketing. What we’ve seen over the years is that the most effective marketing come from the least expensive options.
Start by giving all your patients the “Wow” experience. Nothing is more effective than having your patients leave your office saying “Wow” on the way out the door and then telling all their friends and family members how great of an experience they just had at their last visit.
Make sure that your website looks professional and is very easy to navigate. Do you ever go to a restaurant any more without first checking out that restaurant’s website?
Prompting your happy patients to give online reviews is another inexpensive and effective way to market your practice. And if you do want to allocate some money to advertising, taking advantage of targeted Facebook Ads and Google Ads is a cost-effective way to market your practice. Don’t forget to track how new patients come to our office to make sure buying those ads is working.
Minimize Ongoing Costs:
If you haven’t looked at the merchant fees you are paying lately, please do so now. Start by reaching out to your current credit card processor and ask for a reduction in what you are paying. A website such as https://merchantcostconsulting.com/) might be useful to monitor these costs.
For dental practices, take a look at these two websites that might help get your supplies at a better price. Our dental clients have told us that they use The Dentists Supply Company (Powered by Henry Schein) or net32 which promotes The Best Deals From Trusted Brands.
Undertake An Annual Insurance Policy Review:
Yes, insurance is boring, but important. Start by working with an Insurance Broker instead of buying directly from an agent of an insurance company. The broker can help you determine that you have the right amount of coverage while paying the lowest possible premiums. And like Flo says, bundling your various “property and casualty” insurance lines with one insurance company might offer a nice savings.
Next, look at your equipment loans and leases. It’s not uncommon for the lender to add a monthly charge for insurance even though the equipment purchased is already covered under your business liability policy. If you see that charge on the monthly statement, call to have that charge stopped immediately and also request that previous insurance payments made be refunded.
Please also consider these two moderately priced other insurances. EPLI (Employment Practices Liability Insurance) protects against claims filed by disgruntled employees. In today’s era with staff moving around more than ever and feeling less loyalty to their employers, the potential for your practice to be sued by a disgruntled employee is higher now than ever before.
The second insurance is Cyber Liability Insurance that pays for the manpower necessary to take all the required steps in the event of a breach of your patient’s sensitive information.
Lease Renewal Assistance:
If you don’t own your space, hiring a professional to help you with a lease negotiation could save tens of thousands of dollars over the term of the lease. A good lease negotiator will work to help minimize the monthly rent cost and maximize the Tenant Improvement allowance. If you will be starting a practice from scratch, the landlord might even be willing to give you a few months of free rent as well.
When using a lease negotiator, their fee is actually paid by the landlord since they typically act as your broker. Please reach out to your Client Manager for a referral to one of the healthcare specific lease negotiators our clients routinely work with.
Invest Time Now to Save Dollars Later: Going through these steps will take some time but should yield some nice dividends over time.