Take control of your practice's finances using these three easy tips
In her latest blog, practice management specialist Donna A. Suter shares how you can allay financial fears and gain back profit using the three “R’s”: Relief, Recovery, and Reform.
Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Donna Suter, president of Suter Consulting Group. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or UBM Medica.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt offered Americans the New Deal in March 1933, which was a series of economic programs aimed at combating the financial slump of the Great Depression. The stimulus package passed because Roosevelt was focused on the "3 R’s": Relief, Recovery, and Reform.
Back then, consumers were very uncertain of the economy and many expressed their fears when asked about the future. Flash forward 86 years, and not much has changed-many are still worried about their financial situations today.
However, you can make a ‘New Deal’ with yourself and use Roosevelt’s “3 R’s” as a template to alleviate financial woes and gain back profit for 2019.
Implementing your New Deal
What are you willing to change to attract the profitable patient? Can you be quicker? Educate about options without being pushy? Not be a vision plan hater?
Decide among your practice’s doctors and management team who to invite to a five-person think tank. This group will then identify the practice’s internal strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of your most profitable patient demographic.
In order to do this, this team should be given access to historic financial graphs as well as asked to give input into a twelve-month budget. The budget will be used to implement the recommendations that your team ultimately suggests.
Which graphs? What financials? Surgical and patient visit graphs are a must. Graphs (A/R, gross charges, and net) showing extrapolations of increasing the practice’s market share of this population group will help you decide how much money you can afford to budget for internal and external marketing.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. Roosevelt’s New Deal was passed by Congress over a period of three years. His biography tells of personal growth, leadership changes and compromise. It was a tough time.
Do not kid yourself. Perseverance will be needed to maintain profitability. Taking actions that are guided by the tough decisions that your data tells you should have been made months ago will not be easy. Egos will be bruised, and heroes will emerge from areas that you though contained only villains.
If you are successful, the practice will undergo a metamorphosis. What will emerge is a realistic plan for the future. Think of how amazing you are. In 2019 you are able to preserve the vision of individuals who might have gone blind in the year 1933!
Donna A. Suter
Ms. Suter is a business coach/trainer specializing in the eye care field. She frequently presents instructional courses at trade shows and conferences. Her topics range from trends in ophthalmic product technology to team building and marketing communications. She is best known for her emphasis on enhancing the patient’s perception of quality with an optical dispensary.