Marketing of services in oncology practice and hematology are essential to optimizing one’s practice. As bigger cancer centers tend to receive utmost attention, it is required that smaller/individual ones stand out through a brand cancer care message to compete and flourish.
Steps To Increase Efficiencies And Profits, While Keeping Patient Care At The Vanguard Are:
- Analytics: Leveraging data is possible through advanced analytics or the ‘Big Data.’ This data aids oncologists in deriving clinically sound and cost-effective solutions/treatments for patients, primarily due to genetic and diagnostic test results, clinical factors, treatment options, new medical researches and trial information being available to them at the right time.
The three areas in which advanced data analytics can be extremely influential are revenue cycle management, business process improvement and supply chain. Analytics helps oncologists to understand the billing details of ‘What Is Billed and What Is Actually Collected.’ Comparing performance with past records or other performers assists in knowing the problem areas affecting the cash flow. The supply chain requires a strong inventory management. It helps in knowing if medicines are bought at the right price leading to lesser misuse and greater efficiencies. Analytics provides the oncologist the number of patients visiting the hospital and the time spent with each patient. It also provides information on how resources/human capitals are being employed and how it can be enhanced. Clinical decisions can be taken as unstructured data is converted to structured data via analytics. Natural language processing tools can be used for skimming through reports, test results, physician’s notes which are usually a part of electronic health records (EHR). This assists the physician in arriving at the best treatment/trial viable for the patient. These records are the backbone of the oncology practice, while others such as patient portal, inventory management, clinical decision support tool, and reporting application make up for the rest. Oncology practices also use analytics for collecting, measuring and reporting metrics. Finally, accuracy in data entry is a must for obtaining the best quality results.
- Effective Drug Management: Chemotherapy is the basis of an oncology income. An accurate drug inventory must be maintained to avoid losses for the practice. It is wise to get into partnerships with wholesalers and drug manufacturers for obtaining the best rates for drugs. Contracts can also bring in profits; while it is suggested that a large cash reserve must be available at all times to allow practices to buy drugs at low/reasonable prices.
- Improving Administrative/Billing/Coding Efficiency: Oncology practices must streamline their productivity by reducing overheads and modifying/reallocating administrative tasks. Also incorrect billing and coding of just a day can cost a huge dip in revenues. It is imperative that the staff is well informed of the apt chemotherapy and non-chemotherapy infusion codes, and the latest regulations and reimbursement trends. Continuous monitoring of the number of patients, and looking for ways to increase and retain them, and evaluating the payer mix is a great way to augment revenues.
- Referral Network: To ensure the practice is a success, building a referral network is critical. This goes past advertising and networking with insurance companies. Oncologists must create a plan, adopt technology like cloud as it allows for interoperability which can improve efficiencies, obtain referrals electronically, increase productivity and enhance patient care. Keep communication open at all times with referrers, connect with new providers, and be connected with radiologists and site-disease specialists.
- Marketing Strategies: Further strategies for optimizing practice revenues are a marketing website which must possess a great user experience providing an efficient search engine and be response driven; a brochure explaining all the capabilities, and, radio, print and television advertising.
An oncology practice is challenging. Oncologists must streamline their operations for optimizing the practice, while keeping patient care as their first priority.