RE-INVENTION OF THE HEALTHCARE MODEL – A NEW SERVICE INDUSTRY

Unprecedented challenges emerging in the current healthcare model have necessitated a new thinking on the traditional service model. No longer will practitioners be protected by providing service in the same staid approach. Financial challenges, narrowing provider panels, challenging reimbursement schedules, restrictive insurance policies, HMO requirements, new governental healthcare legislation, have all combined to provide a “perfect storm” of anti-business climate for today’s healthcare practitioner.

It is obvious that to survive that in the current and emerging climate, today’s healthcare provider must be fast adapting and inventive in their approach to business management, marketing, and revenue diversification.

One such approach which I have found personally successful in my three physical therapy clinics, is to “reinvent” what it is I provide as a practitioner. As a physical therapist, I have found it advantageous to provide a chronic pain management program that others in my industry have not tapped into as providers. I have found a new and novel device (SCENAR device) which works on chronic pain and is successful for both marketing my services as different and unique (clinical branding), as well as highly successful at word of mouth referrals to an oft frustrated and disenfranchised group of patients – the chronic pain patient.

By finding a niche which can be prospected with a unique approach to treatment, that provides fast and effective results, that no other practitioner in my area is providing, I have stayed one step ahead of my competition, increased and diversified my revenue streams, improved both my gross and net profits, and rebranded my services as unique and specialized to a level where my offices are considered “the experts” for chronic pain. This approach has labeled the clinics the “go to clinci group” for a frequently overlooked but never-the-less profitable group of patients (chronic pain patients).

The approach is further enhanced by the fact that I can generate referrals both from my patients own testimony (word of mouth referrals) but also through provider groups which are looking to refer out their difficult to treat and often poorly understood sub-group of patients. In this way, I have improved my delivery of care to this specialized group, rebranded my clinics as unique and novel, and have the added advantage of selling not only clinic services to a new group of patients, but have added revenue diversification of selling home devices to home user populations (SCENAR home devices), as well as being considered the “expert clinic group” in chronic pain management. In addition, this approach has lent itself to a cash basis treatment approach (if necessary) for the unique and specialized care we offer, thus having the option to go to a cash practice on this particular niche group if traditional insurance models are showing signs of reducing reimbursements. Multiple treatment cash discount models may also be leveraged in this model to enhance patient compliance and treatment attendance.

The end result of this re-invention (rebranding, specialization) of healthcare services is increased net and gross revenue, diversified approach to business, unique clinical branding, cash practice opportunity, and optimizing a patient population oft overlooked by my competitors. The end result of this “re-invention”– survival and prosperity for healthcare providers in the twenty-first century model of healthcare delivery in the private practice.

By: Alan Finston P.T., OCS

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