ISO 13485 Certified | ISO9001 Certified Request more information or an in-office demo (267) 483-8081

Tag Archives: health care

The Opportunity for Private Office Imaging

Changes in healthcare insurance, regulations, and other factors have shifted the bulk of imaging services to hospitals, but the opportunity for private radiologists is still very promising.

“Hospital outpatient imaging has been migrating from private offices since about 2010,” says Dr. David C. Levin of Thomas Jefferson University, as reported by Aunt Minnie. “But that doesn’t mean that radiologists still can’t make private office ventures work.”

Dr. Levin goes further than just his diagnosis of the medical imaging service industry by prescribing a solution to private radiology offices interested in increase their imaging business.  His business model suggestions include a mix of customer service, marketing, and cost competitive advice that can turn around a struggling radiology office and build a successful and sustainable private practice.

Implement a Cost-Effective Payment Schedule for Patients with High Deductibles

The increasing number of high deductible healthcare plans has created a patient incentive to shop around for low price imaging services. Understanding these plans will help your office develop a fee schedule that is attractive from a cost perspective.

“Patients are going to have higher and higher deductibles, and that’s going to make them shop around for healthcare,” says Dr. Levin. “If you can offer, say, an MRI of the knee for $600, while the local hospital has it at $4,000, you can be sure patients will come to you.”

Marketing – It Really Works

Make prospective patients aware of your services by advertising an elevated quality of care and customer service.

“Hospitals generally don’t market their radiology services, but private practices certainly can,” says Dr. Levin. A well-designed advertising campaign can make your practice stand out and drive new customers to your location.

Don’t Neglect Customer Service

There is so much more that goes into the patient experience besides the treatment itself. Examine the way patients are treated, from the initial contact all the way through follow up, to identify opportunities to improve the experience. Patient frustration can arise at any step in the process. Time saving processes as well as friendly and helpful engagement go a long way to improving the overall patient experience.

Efficiency.  Efficiency.  Efficiency.

Dr. Levin stresses the importance of efficiency throughout the business.

“The more efficient your practice, the lower your costs will be,” he says. Fully utilizing assets and people in a streamlined operation brings down overhead and operating costs, and makes for a lean, cost competitive business with higher margins.

At the end of the day, Dr. Levin emphasizes private radiology practices have an amazing opportunity to improve their imaging services and overall business. Taking the time to evaluate the situation, develop an action plan, and implement constructive changes will certainly pay dividends now and for years to come.

It’s Time to Embrace New Technology

The deal made headlines in the orthopedic community when Stryker, one of the world’s largest medical technology companies, acquired MAKO Surgical Corp., in December 2013. MAKO pioneered the advancement of the robotic arm to assist in hip and knee orthopedic surgeries.

A post-script of an Orthopedics This Week podcast on the subject, the author noted:

“One re-occurring questions from surgeons, who are all dealing with the realities of an increasingly cost conscious health care system, is why would Stryker acquire a company which sells million dollar robots in this period of health care cost reduction?”

We often hear similar feedback from physicians who say they cannot justify a pedCAT purchase when major changes to healthcare loom ahead. Our response is that now more than ever, definitive diagnoses, accurate pre-surgical plans, and comprehensive post-surgical evaluations are crucial. The new medical landscape demands more efficient care.

It seems Stryker agrees. It’s response, as reported by Orthopedics This Week:

“Stryker’s answer is that MAKO will simplify joint reconstruction procedures, reduce variability, and enhance the surgeon and patient experience. And in dollar terms, Stryker’s implants comprise about 80 percent the total cost of large joint replacement. The rest of the cost of surgery is everything else including the surgery itself, rehab, and any problems that come up. Small gains in the non-implant portion of surgery, like fewer errors, more consistent outcomes, can have a huge effect on overall costs. At a time when insurance companies are asking hospitals, surgeons and implant suppliers to virtually guarantee outcomes and eliminate variability, Stryker’s purchase of MAKO is a $1.65 billion bet that robots are the answer.”