Increase Visits & Revenue with Preventive Care Recalls
At the recent webinar, 4 Ways to Increase Patient Visits by 25%, speaker Rochelle Glassman, CEO of United Physician Services, talked about several ways to grow your practice, add services, and increase visits. One of her topics was recalls (or recare) for preventive care visits. This topic has shown up many times on The Getting Paid blog in the last few years, but practices still have questions about how to manage a program like this and what the revenue benefits are.
First, one of the reasons scheduling preventive care visits to fill open appointment slots really makes sense today is that most patients with insurance are covered for preventive care without a copay or deductible. This includes well baby checks, annual exams, vaccines, depression screening, weight management, and many tests like mammograms and colonoscopies. So, it allows you to take better care of patients and generate revenue without adding to the patient's financial burden.
Second, the financial benefits of preventive care recalls to your practice can be significant.
Just booking annual visits on time provides a level of steady revenue, according to Laurie Morgan of Capko and Morgan. She crunched the numbers on annual visits. If you add four visits a day just from scheduling patients for recalls, you could add $100,000 over the course of one year just by keeping patients on schedule for preventive care. However, if, on average, for a panel size of 2000 patients, you schedule patients six weeks late for their annual visit, you'll lose $200,000 in revenue over 10 years. If they are scheduled on average 18 months late, you're practice will lose over $1 million over 10 years.
Finally, the trick to setting up an effective recall program is to create a process and stick to it. Identify key groups that are a good fit for recalls. This might be women due for annual exams, well baby checks, diabetes patients, patient with chronic conditions, patients who need annual vaccines like flu shots. Set up a system to run reports on these patients each month from your EHR. Use those reports to reach out to patients to schedule preventive care appointments. The addition of a good practice marketing platform that allows you to automate some of this can be a big time saver. It can also allow you to offer patients the option to get reminders and recalls via text as well as phone or email.
A recall program can be added work for staff so Rochelle recommends offering incentives to fill appointment slots. Set clear goals for the added number of appointments each month or set individual goals for staff. When those goals are reached treat for lunch or give gift cards. A small amount spent on fun incentives is worth it when it results in a big increase in revenue.