The number one focus of any business is profit. In order to grow, a business needs to maintain and increase a positive cash flow in order to meet its financial responsibilities and objectives. How does an urgent care center continue to be profitable in a market that has become increasingly competitive? In the U.S., the retail medical market size in 2016 was marked with a valuation of $1.4 billion and expected to have a 20% compound annual growth rate through 2025. Here are four ways that your urgent care center business can increase revenue and meet your financial goals.
Revenue Cycle Management Improvement
Revenue cycle management is critical for an urgent care center’s profit margin. However, it is highly challenging because of the many factors involved. The first thing you need to do make sure you’ve hired and trained the right person at the front desk. This role is crucial for checking and verifying active insurance coverage in order to determine the patient’s financial responsibility from the beginning. The more money you can collect upfront at the time of the visit, the less energy and time will be spent later on in the billing process.
Accurate coding is another key factor in improving revenue cycle management. Poor documentation can lead to either revenue loss or an audit being initiated. It can also lead to increased insurance claim resubmissions. Also, follow up as quickly as possible on all denied or delayed claims. Resolving unpaid claims can provide a much-needed boost to your bottom line.
Leverage Healthcare System Technology
Utilizing modern technology effectively can have a positive impact on your urgent care profit margin. Make your urgent care clinic more accessible by offering online appointment scheduling for new and existing patients. You can also send out a quick text-based survey to the patient after a visit to determine overall satisfaction and keep patients who may be considering other alternatives. This can also show patients you care about them and want to build a lasting relationship with them. Offer electronic fund transfers to speed up a bill payment.
Stay Open Longer
You can increase revenue simply by keeping your business doors open longer. The reason urgent care exists in the first place is to fill the need for patients who need care when traditional healthcare systems close their doors for the day. By opening up earlier, closing earlier, and providing weekend and holiday hours, you will be ready for these patients and be more profitable.
Consolidate StaffingHaving the right number of staff can make a big difference to your revenue profits but it can be a tricky situation to navigate. You can figure this out by taking a look at your visit volumes from week to week and compare peak times versus slow times. Look for any patterns to help you make decisions regarding coverage. You can also look at volume year by year and try to spot any seasonal trends. Hire and retain staff who are flexible in working on a short schedule.
Running a profitable urgent care business takes hard work and dedication in today’s highly competitive marketplace. By following these four ways to increase revenue, you can grow and expand to serve more patients. With little thought and planning, you'll stand up above the competition and be recognized by the community you serve as the place for them for their medical needs.
If your neighborhood demographic is typical, it’s likely that you’ve seen dozens of urgent care startups over the past few years. The once rare urgent care center has become nearly ubiquitous in and around U.S. cities over the past 19 years. The very first urgent care startup opened its doors in Minnesota in 2000; as of 2018, there were nearly 3,000 urgent care businesses open throughout the country. Nearly 20% of U.S. families reported using an urgent care clinic in the last year. Those numbers are likely to increase in the following year as new urgent care startups emerge and their convenience, quality, and availability become better known.
While a great deal of business directed toward urgent care centers is for minor illnesses, injuries, and ailments, or to expedite seeing a doctor for preexisting or emergent conditions, there are other services available about which the clientele of your urgent care startup may be unaware and find very convenient.
Families grow accustomed to the perennial physical examinations that clear their children for sports and other school or community activities. It is widely assumed that these examinations require contacting the family physician, making appointments weeks or even months in advance, and then juggling schedules to accommodate the appointments. Not to mention copays and deductibles. But your urgent care startup can be a convenient answer for them: it is common for urgent care centers to perform preparticipation examinations for walk-in clients. No scheduling weeks ahead, no wonky and inconvenient times, no shoehorning between soccer practice and dance class: clients in your community can simply walk into your urgent care startup when they have time for a physical examination (and a reasonable wait). Be sure that promoting this highly convenient service is part of the urgent care marketing plan for your urgent care startup.
Testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections
Many urgent care clinics offer this vital service. Some clients -- especially adult children living at home, or minors depending on privacy laws in your area -- may be less comfortable visiting the family physician or medical practice if they suspect that they’ve been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease or infection. For others, haste may be an issue, as it’s important to begin treatment for such infections as early as possible but that's not always an option when scheduling with a primary care physician’s practice. Also, some of these kinds of infections can remain latent for long periods of time, presenting no noticeable symptoms, although they are contagious. So the ability to visit an urgent care clinic at any time for regular testing is important not just to your clientele, but also to public health.
Injuries Requiring Extended Care
Many among your clientele will consider visiting an urgent care clinic to confirm a non-invasive injury is just that: a sprain, a strain, arthritis, a severe contusion. For lacerations and clear or suspected minor fractures, however, they may believe they need to seek care elsewhere, which isn’t so. Your urgent care startup can treat fractures, perform x-ray scans, set bones, splint, cast, and much more. Urgent care clinics can also apply stitches to lacerations, and remove them. And time-sensitive minor procedures such as cast and stitch removal can be done on your clients’ schedules. Promoting this convenience should definitely be on your urgent care startup checklist.
Your Urgent Care StartupUrgent care clinics are becoming big parts of communities. They are important to public health and to peace of mind. They help your clientele to stretch their health care budgets and keep their lives full and their families healthy. Be sure that they are informed about these three valuable services that your urgent care startup can offer.
Intuitive Health is one of the most progressive retail healthcare companies in the US.