Why More Patients Isn’t Always Better….
Let’s face it…..every practice want a full schedule. The more patients coming in, the higher the revenue, right? If asked whether you’d like to have 5 new patients or 15 new patients, it seems like a no-brainer to go with more, but let’s look at that choice.
While it seems obvious that more is better, going beyond the ideal number of patients actually lowers the average annual billing per patient. Exceeding an ideal patient load results in only one thing……your quality of care suffers. Patients spend less time speaking with the doctor. Your office is so busy with patients IN the office, that you have no time to reach out to existing patients when they call. You sacrifice your patient-provider relationship. They are less likely to refer their friends and family. They choose not to move forward with additional treatment. These add-on treatments are more costly than the normal check up and could add to your bottom line profit.
The sad part is, many offices refuse to turn down new patients Their concern is that saying they are full will harm their financial future. So they max out their schedules.
Research shows that the higher the number of patients, the lower the actual income.
So, how many patients is ideal?
- General Practices should have a maximum of 1500 active patients per doctor in the office.
- Medical – No more than 1800 active patients per physician.
- Vision – Optometrists are able see more patients than other specialities, up to 2500 active patients per doctor.
If you are seeing a higher number of patients and working too many hours, you do have options. One way to handle the concern is to decide NOT to take new patients on. Another option is to add another provider to your practice. The latter is a great option if you have a large practice and find yourself constantly turning away new business.
Whatever category you fall into, if you want to improve the efficiency of your practice leave a comment and we’ll get right back to you!