As a physician, you are constantly evaluating the needs of your patients and making recommendations for treatments that can better their health. Some patients are treated with medication, while others can be treated with physical therapy. There are still other patients that may need durable medical equipment.
In fact, durable medical equipment is a 42 billion dollar market, according to research. Millions of patients are benefiting from the use of equipment either in their daily lives or for temporary use to help them recover from an ailment.
To understand how stocking, them can help your practice, it is first important to learn what items qualify as durable medical equipment.
Durable Medical Equipment Defined
Some of your patients will present with medical conditions, illnesses or injuries that require special, therapeutic equipment to help them function or recover. This equipment is what is known as durable medical equipment.
There are many categories of durable medical equipment. Equipment must be used for a medical condition and must be prescribed by you. They cannot be prescribed for comfort or convenience reasons, nor can they be prescribed for non-medical reasons.
Examples of items that fall into this category include wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and ventilators. Other examples are scooters, medical beds, bath chairs and prostheses.
Durable medical equipment is used on a long-term basis by the patient, unlike durable medical supplies, which can be confused at times.
Curable medical supplies are items prescribed by you also, but they are to be used once and thrown away. Bandages, gloves and blood sugar tests are good examples.
Your practice can benefit from selling both supplies and equipment. Keep reading below to find out specific ways they can help your practice.
Some doctors are seeing an increase in income each month between $5,000 and $25,000.
Not all patients will have great insurance that pays 100 percent of all costs for durable medical equipment. In fact, many insurance companies require patients to purchase their own supplies and equipment.
As you know, many of your patients will not be able to afford to pay for the supplies and equipment you prescribe. This is when renting durable medical equipment can be a huge advantage. Renting allows your patients to benefit from the use of the supplies and equipment you order.
It also means you can benefit financially multiple times with just one piece of equipment.
Patients are looking for convenient, quick services that offer long-term relief. If you are not dispensing durable medical equipment at the point of care, patients are forced to travel to a pharmacy. This can take a lot of time that patients could be spending on something more productive.
By allowing patients to leave your office with their durable medical equipment saves them time, money and energy. This will be a huge blessing to your patients, and they will reward you by becoming loyal, lifetime patients.
Your practice will benefit from this because you will be able to truly get to know your patients over a longer period, giving you more information to add to their treatment plans.
You won’t need to worry about recruiting new patients because your satisfied patients will tell everyone they know how your practice has improved. This will lead to an increase in referrals and an increase in revenue.
Improved Clinical Outcomes
You would think that improving clinical outcomes would decrease your revenue. If everyone you see gets well, then they don’t need to see you and you can’t earn money from treating them. The opposite is true, however.
When you offer durable medical equipment in your office, you take more control over your patient’s health outcomes. When you are more involved with these outcomes, the better their health. People start to take notice that you are the doctor who helps their patients succeed.
This increase leads to an increase in patient numbers. The more patients requesting your services, the more you can expand your services to include additional ancillary services, such as a nurse practitioner, medicine dispensing and much more, all of which bring in more money for your office.
Insurance Fee Collection is Easier
Insurance companies, especially Medicare and Medicaid, pay for durable medical equipment if they are proven to be needed for a medical reason. They can only be obtained with a prescription from a physician.
Providing quality durable medical equipment can make billing easy when you work with specific companies who include software with their services. This software comes with tech support, inventory assistance and it is connected directly with insurance companies.
This means all you must do is enter the information and hit the submit button. The claims are sent directly to the claims department of the insurance company that carries your patient. This means you receive payments from the insurance companies much faster and with fewer errors.
Leads to Offering Other Ancillary Services
Ancillary services are proving to be worth exploring for physicians who are interested in adding a revenue stream to their practice. Prescribing durable medical equipment is an area that is on the rise, with more and more patients benefiting from use.
Medical supplies compliment the sales of medical equipment. But this is just one other ancillary service that can bring in more money for your practice, as well as more recognition, more patients and more streamlined services.
Additional ancillary services include providing urgent care services or maintaining office hours after the regular nine to five hours. You may also want to invest in providing laboratory services such as collecting blood, DNA and paternity testing, and x-rays.
In conclusion, stocking and dispensing durable medical equipment offers your practice positive opportunities. Most important of all is the opportunity to give your patients what they need at the point of care, saving them time and money.
The best way to improve your practice is to improve the patient experience. Happy patients’ equal happy practice. Dispensing durable medical equipment is just one of many ways to make this happen.