In a tough economy, cash flow can be a serious concern for medical practices. Customers are less likely to spend money on procedures and may find it more difficult to pay when they do. Internet-based healthcare management tools can help you streamline operations, bring in new patients and boost cash flow even during the toughest times.

Web-based Medical Billing Software

For medical practices that are facing slow payment cycles, backed up insurance claims, and other effects of a down economy, web-based medical billing software offers an economical, efficient solution.

Traditional billing systems come with high costs: employee training, in-house servers, expensive software packages, recurring licensing fees, and regular equipment upgrades. The setup costs for a web-based system are considerably lower, and they eliminate the need for maintenance. Most online billing providers also include training videos, reducing in-office training time.

In addition to cutting  operational costs, web-based systems streamline the billing and collections process to improve cash flow. They reduce costly errors, speed payment cycles, and reduce hours. Employees can conduct quick searches for the right billing code and handle insurance providers quickly and efficiently.

Websites

Building a stable medical practice requires that you keep current patients and bring a constant stream of new patients. In the age of smart phones and portable tablets, a website is an essential tool for boosting the cash flow of any medical practice. It can boost new business and encourage repeat visits for existing patients.

The patient relationship begins long before a person walks into your office–studies show that the majority of consumers research online before choosing a service provider. If you do not have a website–or if you have an ineffective website–you may be inadvertently cutting off potential cash flow. For new patients, a professional, well-designed website gives customers a sense of your style, informs them of your medical services and provides a way to get in touch. It gives your practice a personality, which can make potential customers feel connected, comfortable and more likely to make an appointment.

For existing patients, you can use your website to streamline communication and reduce obstacles to the scheduling process. An online chat feature and an easy email form are quick ways for patients to get in touch. Adding an online scheduling option makes it easier for patients to make appointments at their convenience; it also reduces phone time for your receptionists. To strengthen existing patient relationships, you can add a blog to your site and post helpful information that adds value and builds trust.

Online Consultations

With the widespread availability of medical websites, a large percentage of consumers search for advice online before and after they see a doctor–as much as 73%, according to studies. Online advice is cheaper and faster than scheduling an in-person appointment, but there is no way for patients to verify that the information they find is factual or safe.

To combat misinformation and add to your paying customer base, your medical practice can use budget-friendly online consultations. Using a webcam and an Internet connection, patients can meet with doctors via video chat. They reduce waiting time and allow the doctor to conduct the session from any location. Online sessions offer an alternative for people who do not have the time or money for an in-person session. By offering an online option, your business can reach people who wouldn’t otherwise be customers; when they experience more serious health problems, they are more likely to turn to your health professionals for help. As a result, you can position your practice as an authority, boost cash flow and create a larger customer base.