Places to Relook at What You're Spending
9. Shop Smart and Cut the Cost of Office Supplies
Whether you're buying medical equipment, office supplies, or other practice staples, comparison shop, of course -- but don't stop there.
"We've seen people with all the wrong computer equipment, because it's either more or less than they need," says Lynn Helmer. "For example, the speech recognition software Dragon, which allows you to talk to your computer and have it type what you say, comes in many versions. The medical version costs about $1000 more per person than the nonmedical version, but the regular version is sufficient for most medical practices. Buying the medical version can be more costly than necessary."
Chastity Werner recommends joining a medical buying group. "This will allow you to receive discounts you couldn't get if you purchased the items on your own," she says.
Ordering supplies online can be a money-saver, too. "Vendors such as OfficeMax waive shipping charges on orders over $50," says Werner. "Join their rewards program and earn rebates on future orders."
10. Do You Still Use -- or Need -- a Pager?
Consultant Jerrie Weith points out that a large percentage of physicians have ditched their medical exchange and pager, opting only for a cell phone and thereby reducing their communications expenses. "Take advantage of programs to assist medical practices," she says. "For instance, if you're in a rural area, look into grant programs to subsidize EHR connectivity charges."
Other "out with the old" tactics can also save money for your practice. David Schechter, MD, a family physician in Culver City, California, recommends that you communicate with patients, other physicians, and suppliers by email and efax; don't use "snail mail" or hard-copy fax unless required.
11. Market Your Practice for Free via Social Media
Derek Kosiorek calls Facebook and Google "the new Yellow Pages." It's important to show up in local searches, so develop Webpages for your practice on Google Places, Yahoo! Local, and other sites that will help your practice come up in local searches.
12. Keep the Money in Your Practice
Finally, once you've made money-saving cuts, make sure the money stays in your practice.
According to Jerrie Weith, one of the easiest ways for a practice to save money is by not letting it illegitimately leak out the door after it's earned. She says, "Be sure that you have adequate internal controls for whoever handles incoming payments and makes deposits. Only authorize payments for invoices of vendors you recognize. Only pay from original invoices, not statements."
Medscape Business of Medicine © 2012
Cite this: 12 Ways to Cut Costs and Save Money in Your Practice - Medscape - Sep 17, 2012.