Steak on a Hot Dog Budget

Patients' expectations remain high even as insurance reimbursements fall.  The Medicare allowable for cataract surgery with an IOL has dropped from nearly $1,400 in 1993 ($2,312 in today's money taking inflation into account* ) to approx. $590 in 2015 and during this time, the costs of running a medical practice have risen dramatically.  Our patients want steak but we have a hot dog budget. imagesThis creates an environment in which productivity must increase without compromising patient care and the patient experience. Here's how you can provide your patients a "Steak Experience":

1. Continually develop your skills.  The more skilled and knowledgeable you are, the more efficient and competent you will be. The more productive you are, the more successful you and your practice will be.

2. Work as a team. Help colleagues when possible to process patients and minimize patient waits.

3.  See the "big picture".  Money is how we as a society measure output, but money should not be your main goal. Make patient care your primary goal and financial success the cherry on top.

4. Seek ways to help your practice minimize waste and increase profitability.  If you have a cost saving idea, pass it along to your supervisor.

5. Maintain a cheerful, helpful attitude - especially around patients. If you're stressed or worried, don't share it with your patient. Each patient should feel they are your sole focus. Give them the attention and expertise you would want if you were in the patient chair.

*http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm