Health iPASS Insights

Top 5 Tips to Improve Patient Revenue Cycle in Dermatology Practices

Posted by Greg Rakas on Mar 4, 2018 11:30:00 AM

dermatology tips-1.jpgPatient 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 in dermatology

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 outsourcing

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 solution.

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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 income.

Tip #3 - Follow dermatology corporation updates

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 corporate news.

For example, news breaks from The American Academy of Dermatology are useful to gauge shifts in dermatology specific updates and overall product preference.  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 Article:

  • 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 through them?
  • How will this affect the cost of manufacturing and sale of new products that the AAD has mandated are necessary?
  • 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
patient reviews

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 practice’s performance.

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 improvement.

Tip #5 - Review related industries

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 at HealthiPASS 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.

Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Healthcare Technology, Dermatology