4 tips you can take to the bank

4 tips you can take to the bank

Inspire yourself—and your team—by tackling a revenue-boosting tip from 100 Well-Managed Practices nationwide.
Nov 01, 2009

A tip seems like just a little thing—a sliver of advice you can put into action in a moment, an hour, a day, or a week. But this little step can also inspire you and give you the energy to keep going when the road looks all uphill from here. These days many of you could use a tip or two on raising your revenue and managing your business better. Here are four.

For Benchmarks 2009: A Study of Well-Managed Practices from Wutchiett Tumblin and Associates and Veterinary Economics, a hundred Well-Managed Practices were asked how they kept revenue growing in spite of the still-lagging economy. Their responses focused on enhancing core health services, boosting client service and convenience, and increasing compliance with hospital standards of care.

Consider these revenue-boosting tips from this year's Well-Managed Practices. You just may find that, along with growing your income, they help you and your team members become more motivated, eager, and hopeful about your practice—and the clients and patients you serve.

1. Check your revenue the easy way

When you look at your profit-and-loss statement, you may think there's nothing wrong with your revenue. Sure, you could always use a few more dollars, but the real problem is your high expenses, right? Not so fast. While expenses may sometimes appear out of proportion to revenue, the real issue may still be low income. If you increase revenue by providing additional necessary care to patients and keep your expenses relatively constant, expenses will drop in relation to revenue. You'll improve the quality of your patients' lives, and you'll boost your bottom line.

The easiest way to increase revenue is simply to make sure you charge for all services you provide. Pull 10 recent outpatient and 10 recent inpatient files for each doctor, and cross-check those with the client invoices. If you find that charges are slipping through the cracks, figure out why, then plug the gaps in the process. Ask technicians to enter services provided on exam-room travel sheets and take the responsibility for the invoice out of the doctor's hands.

2. Educate your team to fix your revenue troubles

Core health services are the bread and butter of your practice. It's time to enforce your hospital's medical standards to create a consistent level of care for every patient, regardless of the doctor or team member who's in the exam room. Here are three ideas to make education a team affair:

> Find out what you're missing when you don't bring your team on board for client education. Compare your medical services as a percentage of total revenue to Well-Managed Practices' service percentages in "Stop underserving your clients". This will help you see how you and your team can do more to emphasize crucial medical care.

> Offer CE for existing team members and new hires. Everyone should know what the doctors are—and should be—recommending so team members can support the doctors' advice when clients ask them questions. This cuts down on confusion during office visits and helps clients make informed decisions in the best interest of their pets.

> Allow your by-now-well-educated team to answer client questions. This frees up time for the doctors to provide more medical services. When you leverage team members effectively—even hiring additional employees when warranted—total revenue produced per doctor can increase significantly, as long as client demand is sufficient. See "Hire more, earn more" at left for more.

3. Ask yourself these questions to maximize client satisfaction

When a pet owner walks in your door, whether it's a new or established client, increase the likelihood of a return visit by boosting your level of client service and improving convenience. Ask yourself:

> Is the reception area attractive and inviting?

> Are team members helpful and attentive?

> Do team members answer client questions knowledgeably and promptly?