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Pain Physicians: What is the Biggest Factor Contributing to Your Practice's Profitability?

Written by  Abby Callard | Tuesday, 07 February 2012 14:27
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Five pain management physicians discuss the biggest factors contributing to their practices' profitability.

Lora L. Brown, MD, Coastal Pain and Rehabilitation (Bradenton, Fla.): Marketing, marketing, marketing.  

Standiford Helm II, MD, Pacific Coast Pain Management Center (Laguna Hills, Calif.): There is no single factor which contributes to our profitability. It is a "small ball" game, a lot of singles rather than home runs. We do still look to procedures as a major revenue source, but in an environment in which getting authorization for procedures is increasingly difficult and in which reimbursement is decreasing, we have had to look to increased efficiencies. Specifically, since our major overhead is staff, we look for efficiencies in the office as the means to stay profitable. We have invested heavily in technology, not only electronic medical records, which I have been using for over a decade, but also technology to manage the other information flow, phones and document management. Looking for alternate revenue sources is also useful. What you do depends on the personalities involved. We have implemented a functional restoration program, clinical trials and medical legal work as alternate activities. I actually first started doing pain in the '80s as a hedge against problems with the anesthesia practice. I never thought at that time that I would do anesthesia full-time, but gradually, a full-time pain practice emerged.

Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, Pain Management Center of (Ky.) Paducah): The major factor contributing to our pain management practice's profitability is patient service. We treat the patients who come to us the way we would want to be treated if we were in their situation. Our operation is mainly patient-focused, which results in referrals, new patients and return patients. Basically, this principle increases satisfaction and consequently, business.

Frank J. E. Falco, MD, Mid Atlantic Spine (Bear, Del.): Ancillary services including MRI, CT, X-ray, DEXA, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic Services, Sleep Lab, IV Ketamine Therapy for CRPS, Laboratory Services and ambulatory surgery center.

Joseph G.A. Ibrahim, MD, New Jersey Spine and Pain Institute (Bayonne, N.J.): The biggest factor contributing to the profitability long term is providing the best, compassionate care and ensuring patient satisfaction. Therefore an increased volume of patients through referral by current patients will increase patient load and more procedures will be done.

This is an ongoing series which will feature five pain management physicians' responses to questions about the specialty.

Next week's question is: How does your practice ensure patient satisfaction?

Submit responses to abby@beckershealthcare.com before Feb. 14.


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