Had a good summer? Had a good break from clinical life? Feeling nice and restored?
Let’s get back to work.
Do you want a thriving practice by Christmas time?
Then rather than meandering back to clinic, get your jet pack on and let's get super productive.
To do this, read on… we’re going to look at Mindset, Money and Motivation.
Do you remember when you were a kid returning to school from the long summer holiday or Christmas holiday? After a nice break, you'd get a little bored, and want to rush back to see your mates, scream around the playground, and generally share your adventures and show them your ‘stuff’.
When we’ve had a break from Private Practice (and NHS work if you’re still in that gig too), the first thing some of us do when we return is to have a good old moan.
We’re British, and we love to say ‘it feels like I’d never been away’ at some one point in the first week back.
That’s because we go about it all wrong.
We don’t give ourselves a gentle lead in, and we cram too many patients into the first few days.
Or, if it’s quiet, we use the absence of patients as ‘evidence’ for a nice little psychological construct that it’s all going badly, and the only thing to look forward to is the next holiday.
Instead, I want you to take a leaf out of the professional athlete’s book, and channel that woe or frustration into a new kind of energy; one which is governed by you accepting total responsibility for being Commander of your own ship, and deciding to take action (and not dissolve into apathy ?).
What does this look like?
This looks like planning, and then implementing the plan.
First of all, I want you to have good look at the systems and processes in your practice, to see where you can make some efficiency savings.
Remember, you have just three roles you should be fulfilling in your Private Practice:
✅ Seeing the patients
✅ Being the visionary of your practice
✅ Marketing your practice
Look closely to see if you are wasting time on these other roles, which you should be outsourcing:
❌ Typing your notes or letters
❌ Sending out invoices or chasing up payments
❌ Booking patients into clinic
❌ Replying to admin- type emails (such as requests to send MRI reports to a patient)
❌ Booking room time, theatre time, or finding an anaesthetist (or someone to report a film)
❌ Booking investigations
All of the above take up your expensive time. Stop it. Outsource it.
Don’t kid yourself that you have the time to do, because you should be using most of your spare time to market your Practice.
Some of us find the idea marketing ‘uncomfortable’ or difficult (which is another way of saying that you don’t know where to start or how to go about it). So instead of getting help, we ‘find other things to do’. You really must start as you mean to go on and put those proper systems and processes in place, as soon as is humanly possible.
The moment I did this in my Practice, it gave me the impetuous to get out there and get new referrals, and my bottom line started to rise beautifully.
If you don’t know which companies to use for help, have a discussion with your colleagues, or drop me a line. We’ve reviewed many of them.
I want you to think about ensuring you’re gathering in your hard-earned rewards for caring excellently for your patients, and make sure you’re not ‘leaving things on the table’.
Then I want you to think about how you can further your revenue stream, by looking at your services.
It’s amazing that we can do the work, see the patients, and then not give the same care and attention to gathering in the harvest.
This is particularly true of invoicing insurers (it’s a boring task, so it comes bottom of your list). If you have a medical PA who is doing this for you, they may be swamped by patient calls and booking things for you, so, it’s the task that doesn’t come first.
I personally think that billing should be outsourced to a company which focuses solely on billing, and which has specialist knowledge in this area.
When it comes to self-funding patients, whilst most are respectful and quick to pay you, some, bizarrely aren’t. Which is a bit rude, but a fact of life in business.
You can decide to ask for payment in advance of the appointment, or, ensure that someone takes payment from them on the day.
This could be setting up an arrangement with a hospital reception desk that can take payment on your behalf, or, if your self-funding patients are few, your PA could ping the Billings company a very quick email, asking them to collect.
Leaving it several days will see patients sometimes drift off, change address, or stop answering your calls altogether. Hmmmmm.
Once you’ve shored up your leaky revenue bucket, it’s time to turn up the tap.
What can you do in your Practice to increase your income?
If you’ve ever been coached by me, chances are, I’ve told you to raise your prices.
This is typically because most of the clinicians I’ve worked with are stuck in a cycle of falling behind in terms of their real income, because they’re not putting a suitable monetary value on their expertise and value they bring to the patient.
Here’s a real-world example.
Let's say you’re a physio in Private Practice, and you’re currently charging £85 for an initial consultation that you spend an entire hour on. That same patient then comes back for five, half-hour, follow-up appointments, that you charge £55 a session for.
If you were to immediately increase your prices to £100 and £70, then for each and every patient, that’s a 20% increase in revenue. Straight away.
If you’re seeing twenty patients a week, or if you have to give a large percentage of your earnings to a clinic you work from, that’s going to come in very handy.
Want some help on how to raise your prices, without the pain? Go to:
If you’ve already increased your prices (and well done you ?), where can you increase your revenue by providing extra services in your niche area?
If you’re an MSK person who treats runners, is it time to invest in a shockwave machine for your plantar fasciitis patients? If you’re an osteo, can you gain some skills for proper on-site ergonomic assessments at corporate sites where your patients are working?
If you’re a respiratory or cardiac physician, could you set up a one-stop shop for sporty patients who are concerned about exercise induced asthma, inherited cardiac risk, or even those who’ve decided to take marathoning after a health scare?
Ask yourself, who can you collaborate with, to make it super successful?
It's easy to give up at first hurdle if you feel like you’re having to re-invent the wheel, or you get stuck with a techy problem you don’t feel like battling with.
Having an accountability buddy can really help, but even better is to consider getting some business coaching, so that you don’t have to figure it all out yourself, and someone can guide you through tried and trusted process for swift growth.
If you need help figuring out how to make your Private Practice profitable, successful, and a joy to return to after the holidays, get in touch.
I’m at email@example.com