In 2019, 18 rural hospitals all over the United States closed down. This is a record number for hospital closures, given that 119 rural hospitals have closed in 10 years. With the coronavirus pandemic still raging and with no signs of slowing down, the country needs as many healthcare centers as possible to remain operational. Now more than ever, the United States needs more small hospitals and clinics open, especially in rural areas.
But how do small clinics and hospitals fit into the bigger picture of healthcare? And what can you do to ensure it remains open?
Why Small Clinics and Hospitals Matter
Reports indicate there are only 6,146 hospitals in the United States. This may seem like an impressive number, but these hospitals are supposed to cater to the healthcare needs of more than 200 million people. Hospitals tend to be jam-packed in a lot of cases, seeing to the recovery of injured patients and taking care of the sick.
As early as 2003, a study claimed hospitals in the United States are being stretched to their limits. With the advent of the coronavirus, this statement is truer now than ever before. The country cannot afford to lose any of its healthcare centers, from the largest hospitals to the smallest rural clinics.
5 Tactics to Increase Clinic Revenue
Although there are plenty of hospitals that are run by local or state governments, as well as healthcare facilities operated by non-profit groups, a vast number of clinics and hospitals are privately owned. Most of these private hospitals are still businesses. And like all businesses, they need to pay their employees and buy medical supplies. Unfortunately, there are multiple challenges that small healthcare centers often encounter, chief among them being loss of revenue.
Here’s how you can increase the revenue of your small hospital or clinic and keep the doors open for patients.
1Provide Alternative Treatments
Alternative treatments are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. These treatments can be homeopathic in nature or more have more scientific basis. Alternative treatments include aromatherapy sessions for stress and pain. Non-surgical alternative options are also well-received by patients. For example, you can provide chiropractic services for back pain relief. Providing these types of treatment in your hospital can bring much-needed revenue as well as offer your patients a different way of managing their illnesses.
2Offer Ancillary Services
The best way to make more revenue with your small clinic is to offer ancillary services. These are medical or diagnostic measures physicians use to support their treatments.
3Follow Up on Appointments
Patients losing track of time and forgetting appointments doesn’t just put their welfare in jeopardy, it also denies your hospital valuable revenue. Patients can fail to make it to their appointments for any number of reasons, from another emergency popping up to forgetting they’ve had previous commitments. Your hospital can’t do much about those, but you can make sure they remember they have medical appointments in the first place.
You can send them emails 24-hours before their appointments to remind them of the date and place. On the day itself, you can result to sending periodic text notifications to ensure they can see your messages. Combined, these measures could reduce missed appointments and usher in more income.
4Sell Related Merchandise
There are plenty of merchandise related to medicine and healthcare that aren’t expensive or require prescriptions for you to sell. If your clinic specializes in dietary medicine or nutrition, you can sell herbal supplements and vitamins. You can also keep a few products with enriched nutrient content on hand. For example, yogi detox tea can benefit some of your patients. Alternatively, your clinic can sell natural food or beauty products, both of which are very popular among health-conscious people. These products can include organic snacks, vitamin drinks or all-natural soaps.
5Open a Pharmacy
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, almost 46 percent of the country’s population use prescription medication. This is a necessity your small hospital or clinic can tap into. Open a modest pharmacy on your premises, perhaps beginning by offering over-the-counter medication. You can cut costs by offering only generic medicines, which will be more cost-effective for your hospital as well as more affordable for your patients. With your very own pharmacy, patients and hospital visitors will no longer need to worry about going a long way for much needed medicine.
Small clinics and hospitals are important components of the American healthcare system. Without them, thousands of people all over the country will be without medical aid. Keeping them open through effective and legitimate ways could secure the future of the nation.