Cost-effective solutions for small and medium-sized healthcare practices

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Explore our guide to reducing costs without sacrificing patient care.

As costs continue to rise, most small to medium-sized healthcare practices are grappling with the dual challenge of financial viability and maintaining effective patient care.

And the solutions aren’t always simple. According to Harvard Business Review, taking steps such as reducing staff or underinvesting in space can have a huge impact on patient safety and care.

While there will never be a one-size-fits-all approach to savings, here are three strategies you can use to examine your organization’s spending.

1. Undertake a full review of your staffing resources.

For most healthcare practices, staffing costs are one of the largest areas of expenditure, so it’s worth exploring employee functions. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean layoffs. Small to medium-sized healthcare practices should focus on decreasing staff turnover and retraining costs by focusing on employee retention.

Oracle estimates that within the healthcare industry, the average cost of turnover for a regular position is between six and nine months of an employee’s salary. And this figure only grows with more specialized roles. So, how can you improve retention? Investing in staff training and employee development is key to retaining talent, as are more general employee engagement strategies such as staff well-being and celebrating employee achievements.

You can also consider cross-training staff with an eye on resource redeployment, filling any gaps using your current headcount. This also has the benefit of empowering managers to play a more active role in cost reduction, which can hugely benefit your business.

2. Utilize technology to improve workflow.

You can’t underestimate the role of technology in improving administrative functions. Many healthcare practices still use outdated administrative tech, leaving them with higher costs that add up over time and less reliable services. Here are a few ways practices have reduced costs using technology:

● Use a medical answering service: This can help practices take calls after hours and free up administrative staff – especially those who have been cross-trained – to support your practice in other areas.

● Automate insurance claims: Automated insurance claims can reduce hundreds of hours of labor for healthcare practices. However, many are still using legacy or manual systems. Investing in automation can free up valuable time for staff and ensure you can account for every claim.

Remote patient monitoring and wearables: For some practices, exploring remote patient monitoring (RPM) can reduce ER visits, and encourage medication adherence and doctor-patient coordination.

3. Review Patient Satisfaction. 

Unsure where to start when reducing costs? Start by exploring what’s important to your patients as well as their current frustrations and pain points. Your patients may value shorter wait times, a simpler patient portal or even improved customer service. From there, you can prioritize what is essential for your patients and where you should be consistently investing.

For example, you could introduce the option of video conferencing to provide remote follow-ups or consultations for those with chronic conditions that require regular visits. These can often improve patient experiences for those who experience poor mobility or difficulties with social interaction. Another option could be to ensure that your reception staff are trained in additional languages to support patients. This can not only increase bookings, but could also help your team triage patients more effectively.

Ultimately, any exploration of cost reduction should be strategic. Your cost-saving exercises should focus on:

● How to redistribute and free up talent,

● How to use technology and external vendors to grow your practice.

Approaching cost reductions with this in mind will allow your practice to continue to grow sustainably without impacting staff morale or patient satisfaction.

Want to find out more about how you can grow your healthcare practice while maintaining your bottom line? Get in touch with WellReceived today and discover the power of a 24/7 medical reception.

Book a free consultation