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Look into Integrative Medicine for Ancillary Services

Look into Integrative Medicine for Ancillary Services

We are all looking for ancillary services to offer our patients: services that bring in revenue for our practices and services that offer benefits to our patients.

Traditionally these services included: diagnostic imaging: x-ray, CT scan, ultrasound and even DEXA scanners; in-house lab testing: strep, UAs, rapid influenza, etc.; and prescription medicine dispensing.

For each of these services, the doctor is looking to provide a convenient service to her patient while at the same time earning some extra income. Unfortunately, as the health insurance landscape becomes more tedious to navigate, these ancillary services are becoming increasingly more difficult to offer.

In this article, I want to show you some reasonable integrative medicine ancillary services that can greatly impact your bottom line (as well as improve patient health status):

1. Nutritional supplements: This has become a billion dollar industry. And while many doctors do not believe that nutritional supplements help patients, the fact remains that patients as a whole certainly feel they do. There are many companies that sell supplements to physicians only, using the highest quality ingredients. These companies provide testing data on the supplements that verify the ingredients and purity. There is also a wealth of nutritional data that supports the use of various vitamins, herbs, nutrients, and amino acids in a variety of clinical scenarios.

Patients are clearly purchasing supplements, so why not get behind a few and make it convenient for your patients as well as boost your bottom line? This, to me, is the easiest ancillary service to provide with the greatest potential to help your patients and your revenue.

2. Nutritional IV Therapy: This will likely be a stretch for those of you who do not believe in integrative or alternative medicine therapies. But, there is growing demand from patients for doctors to provide this type of service. Simply put, you can learn how to create and provide several different nutritional IV therapies to your patients and then charge them cash for this type of service. Examples include: Vitamin IVs, high dose Vitamin C IV, Glutathione IVs, and many, many others.

Providing this type of service does require that the doctor go through specialized training to learn how to provide these IVs. They offer patients a wonderful alternative treatment option as well as can help your bottom line as patients understand that this type of service is outside of the insurance realm.

3. Acupuncture: This is another service modality that is gaining a lot of popularity among patients. Like the IV Therapies, administering acupuncture requires additional training. But once completed, this is a great ancillary service to provide. If you did not want to go through the training, a doctor could hire an acupuncturist to work in their office. This will save on the training time and costs.

Acupuncture has been utilized for centuries and is very safe. Offering this type of service will separate your practice from others in your area and patients will gladly pay for this service.

4. Fitness Testing: This is an up and coming area that seems as if it is crossing over into the medical world. Athletes (both lay and competitive) want to better their fitness and providing services such as VO2 and Body Composition Testing are wonderful ways to get objective, useful data for them.

The downside here is up-front cost as some of this testing equipment may be expensive. But, companies do provide financing options and you can basically set whatever price you want and patients will pay for these unique testing options.

This is just a small handful of ideas and options that you can look into to expand your ancillary service offerings. Patients really like it when their doctor endorses a service or product and helps them feel more comfortable purchasing.

The way to truly be successful in this venture is to be authentic — certainly you can offer a ton of services, but if you do not believe in them yourself, you will have a difficult time getting your patients on board. On the flip side, when you truly feel strongly about a service or product you offer, your patients easily pick up on that confidence and want to share in it.

Good luck in expanding your ancillary offerings!

Find out more about Craig Koniver and our other Practice Notes bloggers.

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