Every dermatologist wants for their practice to be highly-regarded and effective, with a reputation for excellence in patient care. For instance, our practice in Miami has become internationally known for being at the forefront of skin science because of our commitment to clinically proven treatments and procedures. Our state-of-the-art research facility was instrumental in the FDA approvals of Botox Dysport, Voluma, Sculptra, Juvéderm, Kybella, Tazorac Foam, Tri-Luma and other groundbreaking drugs and treatments.
No matter how committed you are to science, at the end of the day, your dermatology practice also needs to make a profit or it is not sustainable over the long haul. Of course you understand that you need to increase income and decrease expenses. We all know that — but where do we start? Here are a few tips I have learned in creating a successful dermatology practice:
The first step is to analyze how much income you generate personally per hour. Most studies show you should increase income first and decrease expenses after that, so that you do not compromise customer service.
If your practice currently has many patients on the waiting list (or scheduled six months in advance), you’re in a great position. To increase income, start by deciding what procedures you are comfortable delegating to a physician assistant such as biopsies. Then, using the number of these procedures you do a day, calculate how much income physician extenders can generate per hour. This will help you decide if hiring a PA to help with these procedures is a financially sound decision. Hiring these personnel can help you get more patients in the door, and free up your time to see more of these patients.
In addition, adding new income generating procedures to your practice and delegating them to a physician extender can help to increase income. For example, if you do not have an aesthetician, consider hiring one to perform prescription medical facials®, light treatments, and skin tightening treatments. These can be done on the weekends when your office is under utilized. On weekdays, the aesthetician can discuss the skincare and medication regimens with patients. This will save you time in the exam room and you will see more patients. The patients will have a better understanding about their regimens and will be more compliant. This results in fewer call backs and better patient outcomes with less side effects.
Reach More Patients
If your practice is not booking as many appointments as you would like, then it’s time to increase your visibility. The internet is a great place to start. Building a high-quality website with clear calls to action (“Book an appointment”) is essential. Increasing your visibility in search results with SEO optimization, regular blog posts, and social media updates is also important. Lastly, making sure that your Google directory listing is up-to-date and that you have positive Yelp! reviews can help to get more patients calling to book appointments within a matter of months.
Get Creative With Hours
Next, get creative with hours. If you choose to invest in your business with aestheticians, you not only enable your dermatology practice to book more appointments each day, but you also can expand your hours altogether. For instance, aestheticians can help pay for their own salary by doing facials and other procedures on Saturdays and Sundays — days when your office would normally be sitting empty. Teenagers with acne prefer getting acne facials and light treatments on days when they are not in school, and these weekend hours are also convenient for working mothers and other professionals.
If you want to increase profitability for your practice, first take a good, long, hard look at where your practice income is now. Most likely you are personally generating all the dollars. Figure out what you are willing to delegate and what procedures you are willing to add. Does it make sense for you to be open on Saturdays and/ or Sundays?
Another way to increase profitability for your practice is with products.
Stay tuned for more ideas on how to increase your medical practice profitability without compromising patient care.
Developed by world-renowned dermatologist, Leslie Baumann, MD, the Skin Type Solutions® Franchise System is an educational, science-based skincare store that implements a simple and reliable system to maximize skincare product sales and improve patient compliance and results.
Based on Dr. Baumann’s patent-pending Baumann Skin Typing System, this first-of-its-kind retail model provides dermatologists with the scientific methodology, training, and education necessary to prescribe effective, customized skincare regimens utilizing multiple brands of products that have been independently tested and approved by Dr. Baumann. To learn more about what Skin Type Solutions can do for your dermatology practice, visit the STS site here.