Incorporating Occupational Medicine Services into your current Employee Health organization workflow might help your business see better results, but before committing make sure to ask yourself these three big questions.
Hear advice from Eddie Stahl, Clinical Solutions Consultant and Veteran Healthcare Administrator, about what your healthcare business can do to bolster revenue.
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Unless the facility is a nonprofit, health core organizations are always looking for ways to boost revenue. And one way to do this is through incorporating occupational medicine services into your current employee health organization workflow. Because facilities with employee health have already established processes for handling physicals, and drug screens, immunizations, and other testing with their own employees, incorporating those same services with external clients is ideal and somewhat seamless.
So, OccMed services can be quite profitable as fees for drug screens, physicals, and other ancillary services are typically set at one price for all employers. A special consideration is taken in for those clients where specific contracting is put in place and discounts are offered. But typically, this is the exception and not the rule. Unlike commercial payers where contractual adjustments or write offs can be upwards of 60%, depending on the state, worker’s compensation adjustments can be as little as 20%.
So, one of the biggest draws for companies initiating augmented services is that repeat business. If done well, those external clients will continue to send their employees your way, creating a revolving door of profitability. Communication is key, however, to employers, as the business relies on your ability to expedite their employee’s pipe work, as well as ensuring accuracy of the documents. Having one individual or several individuals familiar with your larger companies is key to forming a relationship that’s going to last for years to come. That ongoing communication with your clients is critical to ensure that you keep up to date with their employment programs. So, updating contact information on an annual basis, for example, is one way to ensure that documentation is getting to the right person. As well, and really most importantly, are invoices being paid promptly? If not, ensuring that the contact information and the address is correct should solve this problem.
Now, there are three questions you need to ask before incorporating this profitable venture into your business. Are we staffed appropriately to handle the influx of additional service that we’re going to be offering to our external clients? Do we allocate resources specifically to OccMed versus employee health or do we meld them together? In other words, will we have nurses dedicated to seeing those OccMed patients and then have other nurses who see the employee health patients, or will we have all of our nursing staff see all the patients, regardless of the service type that you incorporate? Will OccMed be in a separate location from employee health or is it going to be housed in the same area?
These are just a few of the numerous questions that you want to ponder before considering this additional service to your employee health department. But whatever you decide, though, remember that communication and consistency are key to your clients and your patients.
Eddie Stahl is a Clinical Solutions Consultant at Net Health, with an extensive history in Implementation and Healthcare Administration. Eddie has over 21 years of experience in healthcare.