Physician income overall has declined since 2010, according to the recent Medscape’s Physician Compensation Survey Report: 2012 Results. Even among the top earning specialties (radiologists, orthopedic surgeons, cardiologists and anesthesiologists) incomes declined, and the bottom earning specialties (pediatrics, family medicine, and internal medicine) saw no gains.
Also, proposed changes in healthcare reform worry physicians. Alternative patient care delivery models, like Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), “a type of payment and delivery model that ties provider reimbursement to quality metrics and reduction in the total cost of care for an assigned patient population,” have fifty-two percent of physicians believing that incomes will be further negatively affected under these initiatives.
So, to boost their bottom lines, many physicians, especially family medicine physicians in private practice, are adding cash-based services to their healthcare businesses. From Botox to Medical Weight Loss, physicians can add $100,000+ a year in non-insurance based revenue to an existing practice.
Physicians who bundle services can increase profits exponentially. For example, while botox might get a patient in the door, the cost to provide a chemical peel treatment is $25 ($20 labour, $5 products) and the retail is typically around $125, so the profit is $100, and the patient needs to come back once a month, so with a chemical peel patient , they make $1,200/yr versus $300-450 for a Botox patient. However, combine these services (Botox, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, etc.) and a practice can make $1,650/yr per patient. Then combine these non-surgical procedures with physician directed skin care, and physicians can add another $300-500 on skin care and mineral makeup sales.
Finally, add Clean Start Weight Loss to the menu of cash based services offered to your patients, and after achieving a successful weight loss, motivated patients are eager to pursue everything from botox to laser lipolysis.
The Physician Compensation Survey Report may paint a picture of declining incomes, but physicians who enhance their practices by adding minimally invasive procedures, can insulate themselves from any looming changes in healthcare compensation.