Small businesses face many financial and growth challenges that larger companies and corporations are immune to. On top of that, as a small business you're typically left with fewer resources and assistance when trying to overcome these challenges.
The most common problems we hear about come down to hiring a good team, managing insurances, maintaining an efficient practice workflow, and generating new patients. Today we want to address each of these struggles and discuss different options for overcoming them.
4 Solutions to Common Eyecare Practice Struggles
Hiring the Right People
Just about every small business owner will respond with staffing as their biggest business challenge. If you don't hire well from the start, employee turnover can be high which keeps the cycle of hiring a constant pressure for many business owners. In an eyecare practice, it's impossible to do everything on your own, so hiring skilled staff is an important piece of the puzzle.
If your budget is tight and you're struggling to attract the right candidates in your office, we have a few ideas that can help you along the hiring process. Start with writing an attractive and creative job description by being thoughtful about what you're looking for in a candidate, their specific responsibilities, and why they'll enjoy working in your office. The second piece is creating a practice culture that employees enjoy being a part of and offering unique and flexible benefits that don't break the bank but provide value to employees.
Maximizing on Claim Reimbursements
One of the hardest jobs to hire for in your practice is the employee in charge of insurance and billing. This position requires someone to have a very specific skill and knowledge set. In many cases, practices have a biller in their office that's been around for quite some time and knows claim filing like the back of their hand.
But what happens when you don't have that person to rely on day in and day out?
The challenges that come along with managing the claim cycle and maximizing on your reimbursements directly effects the revenue you bring into your practice, which is why it's so important that you're filing claims with the best systems and services. You have two really good options for your practice. If you have a biller in-house who knows their stuff, filing through a robust clearinghouse solution is probably your best option. However, if you suffer from an overworked biller or high turnover in that role, outsourcing your claim filing to a revenue cycle management service could help you bring in more money on your claims. Use this chart to compare these two options.
Maintaining an Efficient Workflow
Another common challenge for many eyecare practices comes with using practice management and EHR software to maintain an efficient workflow. Oftentimes practices feel like their software slows down each patient visit with too many clicks taking time away from the patient. Plus, most practices are bouncing between systems, tools, and integrations that can be hard to manage.
If your current system is hurting your workflow and creating too many bottlenecks, it might be time to shop for something new that will help you maintain a more efficient workflow and free up more time each day to see additional patients. To avoid some of these common problems you should look for a system that is all-inclusive of the different tools you use in your practice to avoid dealing with multiple windows, tabs, and costly integrations. A good system will come built-in with the tools you use every day like patient education, patient recall, ePrescribing, code verification, and frame catalogs - all on one bill.
Finding New Patients
Generating new patients for your practice is an ongoing task, and for many practices the marketing budget, and finding the time to implement marketing strategies, can be tight. Especially if you're a new practice or have high competition in your area, patient growth can be even trickier. Luckily, we spend a lot of time on the blog talking about effective marketing strategies for eyecare practices. Here are a few of our favorite resources:
- 4 Cheap and Easy Optical Marketing Tips
- Optical Marketing Tips to Win New Patients
- Attracting New Patients with a Good Web Reputation
- 4 Audiences Your Eyecare Practice Should Target on Facebook
- Effective Ways to Spend Your Marketing Budget in 2017
To help you manage your practice like a small business, read our free ebook below.