If you’re ready to expand your bariatric practice, choosing additional revenue sources for your surgery can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. The right approach makes all the difference.
Eighty-two percent of physicians recently surveyed said that their practice offers one or more ancillary services to expand their revenue streams. Additional revenue sources are a popular and effective way to increase your income, attract new patients, and continue to offer value to existing patients throughout their healthcare journeys. The best new revenue stream for your bariatric practice could be one of these five suggestions.
- Adding a new revenue stream can help add stability, financial diversity, and value to your bariatric practice.
- Your patients and staff are the two most valuable sources of information while generating ideas for new sources of revenue.
- Before launching any new source of revenue, thoroughly assess the current state of your practice in terms of streamlining, finances, and staffing.
- Some effective sources of revenue for bariatric practices to adopt include after-hours virtual visits, nutritional counseling, in-house lab services, aesthetics, and joining an ASE.
The Benefits of Adding Additional Revenue Sources
The bariatric surgery market is growing, bringing with it opportunities for bariatric practices to expand their offerings and increase returns. Adding additional sources of revenue to your bariatric practice is an effective way to remain competitive, expand your practice, increase your market share, and build a more robust and future-proof business.
Adding a new revenue stream can provide:
- Stability if your surgeons are unavailable for a period such as a vacation.
- Diversity so that if one source of revenue declines, the other(s) can pick up the slack.
- Value to your patients to increase patient satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.
The degree to which you will experience these factors, and indeed the financial success of your new endeavor, will largely depend on selecting the best new service or product for your patients and community.
How to Identify New Sources of Revenue for Your Surgical Practice
Many resources can act as inspiration for new sources of income, and many healthcare providers may be tempted to simply watch what other similar practices are adding to their offerings. While this can be a valuable avenue of research, the most important place to look is internal. Both your patients and your own staff hold the key to the most effective and in-demand additional services you can provide.
Listen to Your Patients
Your existing patients are your most valuable source of information when it comes to new revenue streams. Listen to their feedback. What are they asking for to support their weight loss surgery journey? What additional services are they seeking out elsewhere that you could provide in-house? What would add value to their healthcare experience? Answering these questions can lead you directly to the best new services to offer your client base.
Assess Untapped Potential in Your Team
Your team may already have training and skills that aren’t currently being utilized and could be channeled towards a new source of revenue for the practice. Assess your existing staff across all departments and look for anyone who is being underutilized or who would be excited to tackle a new challenge. The diversity of experience your team has to offer can serve as an excellent source of new ideas for expanding your practice.
What to Do Before You Launch a New Revenue Stream
Before launching any new source of revenue, it’s vital to conduct a comprehensive assessment of where your practice currently stands. You should consider how well your primary services are currently operating, where you stand financially, and what existing members of your team might have the capacity to accept new challenges or responsibilities.
1. Ensure Your Primary Bariatric Services are Running Smoothly
Adding a new source of revenue will add additional challenges, increase the workload, and (at least temporarily) complicate the processes throughout your bariatric practice. So, it’s vital to ensure existing processes are running smoothly first. Launching a new revenue stream before your primary services are streamlined and smooth can invite unnecessary errors and complications that will cost you time, money, and patient loyalty. Make sure this is the right time to start something new.
2. Assess Your Current Financial Status
Whatever new sources of revenue you identify, there will be some investment and startup costs involved. Whether it’s new medical equipment, software, additional staff, staff training, or advertising costs, adding any additional revenue stream will inevitably require upfront costs prior to seeing a return on your investment, and the delay on those returns can vary widely.
That’s why it’s important to thoroughly assess your current financial standing before launching a new service or offering. Knowing your capacity to invest will guide your decisions and profitability plan to ensure you do not go into debt unless it’s necessary.
3. Assess Your Team’s Capacity for New Challenges
It’s easy to assume that any new sources of revenue will demand additional staff, but you might find that the skills and expertise you need are already under your roof. Before launching any new service, take a close look at your staff’s existing workload and challenge level to determine their capacity for taking on new roles and responsibilities. Adding a new venture to your bariatric practice can be a great opportunity to promote from within and give someone on your team ownership of the new project.
5 Additional Revenue Sources for Your Surgery Team to Consider
Once you’ve analyzed your current standing, you can determine which additional revenue sources are right for your bariatric surgery practice. Every practice is different, but here are five revenue streams that many bariatric providers can benefit from adding:
After-Hours Virtual Visits
Long work hours, inconveniently timed complications, and lockdowns or isolation periods due to Covid-19 exposure are just some of the many reasons patients appreciate access to their healthcare team outside of normal office hours. Within the past two years, the healthcare industry has seen a 154% increase in telehealth visits, and post-pandemic as many as 35% of patients would consider replacing their primary care provider with an on-demand telehealth service. This demonstrates the demand for these convenient services. After-hours virtual visits through telemedicine are a fantastic way to expand your reach, increase new patient acquisition, and retain more existing patients.
Every weight loss healthcare provider knows how vital nutritional counseling is to the bariatric surgery journey. Quality nutritional counseling helps patients adjust to their new eating and exercise routines and maintain their weight loss long-term. By offering your patients in-house nutritional counseling before and after their surgery, you can both add a source of revenue to your practice and offer patients additional convenience, value, and continuity of care.
In-House Lab Services
Establishing in-house lab services for some or all of your testing can be an effective way to both add revenue and streamline the testing process for your patients. Many bariatric surgeries rely on partnerships with external labs and could stand to benefit by bringing at least the most common labs on site. Because these labs are an ongoing part of patient post-surgical monitoring, completing labs in-house gives patients a reason to continue coming into your practice.
Aesthetics can be an important factor in patient satisfaction. After surgery, patients who are successful at losing weight may still struggle with mobility due to pockets of excess skin. Offering weight-loss aesthetic treatments such as body contouring can help improve the self-esteem and quality of life experienced by patients post-surgery.
Join or Form an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASE)
Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASEs) offer patients convenience, value, and lower costs by providing same-day surgery in a fully equipped facility. Joining or forming an ASE can be a great source of additional revenue for bariatric surgeons looking to offer their patients shorter wait times and a comfortable non-hospital environment that can significantly improve patient satisfaction.
There is currently a large window of opportunity for bariatric surgery to join the many other specialties that run ASEs.
Expand Your Avenues of Surgical Revenue with Wellbe
Knowing which new source of revenue is right for your bariatric practice can be challenging without the right guidance. Wellbe helps you tap into the best source of information you have: your patient data. With Wellbe’s flexible care automation solutions, it’s easy and convenient to gather patient feedback and identify the best ways for your practice to grow.
Talk to a Solutions Specialist today to find out how Wellbe can help you add new sources of revenue.