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Medical practices are facing an increasingly complex and competitive marketplace. In addition to providing excellent patient care, medical practices must unearth ways to increase revenue and remain financially viable. One way to do this is through ancillary opportunities.

In this article, we will explore the various ancillary trends and options available to medical practices. Whether you are looking to expand your existing offerings or add new ones, this article will provide valuable insights for healthcare providers looking to enhance their offerings and remain at the forefront of the industry.

Why branch out your practice?

Medical ancillary services refer to a range of healthcare services and products that complement or support primary medical care. These services can include diagnostic tests, medical equipment rental, physical therapy, laboratory services, and more. Ancillary services are typically provided by healthcare providers outside of a hospital or clinical setting and are intended to enhance the overall patient experience and outcome. They perform an important role in the delivery of comprehensive, coordinated, and cost-effective healthcare.

As a physician, you have the unique opportunity to further your reach and impact beyond the exam room by offering specific services within your practice. By offering ancillary services, medical practices can diversify their revenue streams and become less dependent on traditional reimbursement methods, which may be subject to fluctuations or reductions. Ancillary services can thus provide a source of additional income, allowing practices to generate more revenue and foster financial stability.

Ancillary opportunities also allow you to tap into an outspread network of patients and offer them a more comprehensive and tailored healthcare experience. Providing these services can help your practice differentiate itself from competitors and increase its competitiveness to attract new patients and retain existing ones; after all, patients are more likely to seek care from a practice that’s less cumbersome for them to access.

Trends and options in ancillary care

Several trends and options in medical ancillary services are shaping the future of healthcare.

1.   Telemedicine

Telemedicine refers to the use of telecommunication and information technologies to provide remote clinical health services. It enables healthcare providers to deliver medical care and support to patients remotely, without the need for in-person visits. This can include virtual consultations, remote monitoring, and other forms of digital healthcare delivery.

One of the main benefits of telemedicine is increased access to care, especially for patients in rural or remote areas who may have limited access to medical facilities. It can also boost the efficiency of the healthcare system by reducing wait times and minimizing the need for on-site visits.

Telemedicine has become increasingly popular in recent years due to advancements in technology, such as high-speed internet, smartphones, and cloud computing. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of telemedicine as a means to generate sufficient medical care while minimizing exposure to the virus.

For physicians, telemedicine offers a new and flexible way to deliver care and support to patients. It can help you expand the reach of your practice and somewhat do away with the administrative burden of in-person consultations. Telemedicine is best employed in conjunction with traditional healthcare services, as some conditions will necessitate a personal and thorough examination. It is important to keep in mind that there are legal and regulatory issues that must be considered when using telemedicine, such as privacy and security concerns and reimbursement for virtual care.

2.   Medical aesthetics

Medical aesthetics refers to a range of cosmetic procedures and treatments that are designed to improve the appearance of the skin and body. These procedures are typically performed by licensed healthcare professionals, such as dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians, and can include a variety of treatments, such as Botox injections, laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and more.

The demand for medical aesthetics has grown significantly in recent years, driven by increased awareness of the benefits of these procedures, advancements in technology, and a desire for a more youthful appearance. Medical aesthetics can improve a range of cosmetic concerns, from fine lines and wrinkles to scarring and discoloration, and can provide patients with a more youthful and refreshed appearance.

If you have considered including this service in your practice, it is important to carefully consider the training and qualifications required to offer medical aesthetics, as well as the legal and regulatory requirements that must be met. Additionally, it is important to ensure that medical aesthetic procedures are performed in a safe and controlled environment with the proper equipment and support to minimize the risk of complications and achieve optimal results for patients.

3.   Diagnostic imaging

Diagnostic tests are a critical part of any physician’s toolkit. It refers to a range of medical imaging techniques that are used to render images of the body to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of various conditions. These techniques can include X-rays, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography), PET (positron emission tomography), and others.

Diagnostic imaging is an essential tool in modern medicine, providing healthcare providers with a non-invasive way to visualize the internal structures and functions of the body. This can help to diagnose conditions early, monitor progress, and guide treatment decisions. The development of new and more advanced imaging technologies has increased the accuracy and reliability of diagnostic imaging and led to growing calls for these services. For physicians, diagnostic imaging can hold vital significance in the diagnostic process, helping to support informed decision-making and improve patient outcomes.

If you have considered providing this service in your practice, it’s imperative to consider the cost, availability, and staffing needed for diagnostic imaging, as well as any potential risks or limitations associated with these techniques. You must stay up-to-date with the latest developments in diagnostic imaging and ensure that you are utilizing the most appropriate techniques for your patients. You should also phase out or maintain your machines as needed.

4.   Home health care

Home health care refers to a range of medical and support services that are delivered in the home to patients who are unable to leave their residence due to illness, injury, or disability. Home health care services can include nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other forms of medical support.

The goal of home health care is to provide patients with the necessary medical care and support to manage their condition and improve their health while enabling them to remain in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes. Home health care can also help to reduce the cost and burden of hospitalization, minimize the risk of hospital-acquired infections, and improve the overall quality of life for patients.

For physicians, home health care can play an important role in the provision of care for their patients, helping to support continuity of care and improve patient outcomes. In some cases, physicians may offer home health care services directly or through a partnership with a home health care agency.

It is important to consider the challenges associated with providing care in the home environment, such as the need for specialized equipment and the availability of trained healthcare professionals. Additionally, it is important to ensure that home health care services are covered by insurance and that patients have access to the necessary resources and support to manage their care at home.

5.   Wearable technology

Wearable technology services are one of the newest ancillary opportunities in the healthcare industry. Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, are becoming increasingly popular and can provide valuable health data to physicians. This data can be used to monitor patients’ health status, track progress toward health goals, and purvey personalized recommendations to alter health outcomes for the better.

For physicians, instilling wearable technology services into their practices can enhance the patient experience, improve patient engagement, and support preventive care. Additionally, it can provide a new revenue stream for physicians who offer these services and provide patients with more convenient and accessible healthcare options.

However, it is important to consider privacy and security concerns when incorporating wearable technology into your practice, as well as the possible limitations of the data generated by these devices. Some patients may also not have the financial means to avail themselves of such devices.

Getting started with ancillary care provision

Now that you know what the trends and options are in ancillary service-giving, you may want to learn the take steps to include them in your practice. It is bound to be an arduous process that differs for each specific service, but generally, it all begins with determining the ancillary services you want to offer. Consider the needs and interests of your patient population, as well as your own clinical skills and interests, when deciding which ancillary services to offer. You must also consider tact when providing the service in question. Here are some common approaches that other physicians have taken:

1.   Offering in-house services

Some physicians are investing in equipment and hiring additional staff to provide ancillary services directly in their own practices. By providing in-house services directly, physicians have greater control over the quality and delivery of care, and they can offer a more comprehensive and integrated experience to their patients. However, this choice requires a significant initial investment in equipment and staffing, as well as ongoing costs for maintenance, insurance, and training.

2.   Diversifying into related fields

Some physicians are taking it upon themselves to diversify into related fields, such as wellness and preventive care, to offer ancillary services that complement their primary care practices. For example, a primary care practice may offer services such as nutrition counseling, fitness coaching, or stress management, to complement their existing services and address a larger arsenal of patient needs. However, this choice requires additional training and certification, as well as a significant investment in resources and infrastructure. It may also require a different approach to billing and reimbursement, which can pose supplementary challenges.

3.   Partnering with third-party providers

Many physicians are partnering with third-party providers, such as home health care agencies, diagnostic imaging centers, or medical aesthetics clinics, to offer ancillary services in a cost-effective and efficient manner. This option is often considered the most convenient choice as the provider can handle the scheduling, billing, and regulatory compliance, allowing physicians to focus on providing high-quality care to their patients.

After deciding on your service approach, you must next assess the legal and regulatory requirements. Ensure that you have the necessary licenses and certifications to offer the ancillary services you have selected and that you comply with all relevant laws and regulations. After which, you must invest in the necessary equipment and resources for your service. Once your services are up and running, you will have to market and promote them. Let them know about the new ancillary services you are offering, and promote them through your website, social media, and other marketing channels.

Ancillary care is made easier with Medical Edge Solutions

As a physician, you’re always looking for ways to improve your practice and provide the best possible care to your patients. With the increasing demand for ancillary services and new technologies, now is the perfect time to diversify your medical practice and explore new revenue opportunities. Medical Edge Solutions is here to assist you.

We focus on offering vetted and proven ancillary income opportunities that can help you grow your practice and provide even better care to your patients. With solutions like the VAT-ENG Combo, TM Flow System, and the Knee Pain Protocol, you can take advantage of cutting-edge technologies and new revenue streams that can help your practice thrive.

We understand that appending new services to your practice can be complex and time-consuming. Our goal is to make the integration process as seamless and effortless as possible for you and your practice. Our roster of experts will work closely with you to understand your practice’s goals and priorities, and we’ll provide tailored solutions and guidance to help you incorporate ancillary services into your practice in the most compelling and efficient way possible, from initial setup to ongoing support. Get started today with Medical Edge Solutions by visiting our website to discover the power of broadening your medical practice with ancillary opportunities.

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