Adding Ancillaries to Increase Profits

As the healthcare market continues to expand, many physicians such as primary care providers are beginning to enter the cosmetic and anti-aging arena, creating increased competition for aesthetic practices.  While the constant awareness of competition in the healthcare landscape is no new issue to the private practice, those vying for consumer dollars can increase their chances of winning over business by working to create a competitive edge that attracts business and generates profits by uniquely positioning the lines of service offered.

antiagingAccording to 2013 numbers, Americans are heavily concerned about their appearances.  The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that 15.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed that year with most, 13.4 million, being minimally invasive procedures.  Combatting the appearances and effects of getting older, Americans are turning to anti-aging techniques and products more than ever to create the youthful features they want.

Some of the most sought after, minimally invasion procedures include:

Botulinum toxin type A (commonly Botox) – 6.3 million

Soft tissue fillers – 2.2 million

Chemical peel – 1.2 million

Laser hair removal – 1.1 million

Microdermabrasion – 974,000

While these figures show that the demand is certainly present from consumers, the abundance of shopping choices the patient has before them drives the need to become the one-stop-shop that will help patients stay under one roof for their aesthetic needs and keep potential revenue from walking out of the practice. As an emerging method of care, providers are turning to the strategy of adding ancillary services to their portfolio that can help retain patient business.  Often outsourced to other physicians, providers are now working to bring in new service lines by adding to their staff, purchasing necessary equipment and getting enhanced training in order to meet the needs of the patients they serve.  But it’s not just about providing the service.  As stated before, simply adding Botox to your practice isn’t what sets a practice apart. Fostering a culture and a unique selling point is a matter of how the service is offered to the consumer.

Optimized lab revenue
Providing an easy way for patients to track the progression of the services they purchase allows them to feel more included in their treatment plans and also makes them feel more valued as a patient.  Providers should work to encourage participation by extending online access points to view lab results and make it easy for them to understand. Easily implemented through the use of a secure patient portal this not only strengthens communication, it also shows willingness on the doctor’s part to go the extra mile to include their client in the facilitation of treatment.

Bundle packaging
Sam Walton is often credited with bringing about a new way of shopping when he created Sam’s Club. Zoning in on the premise that patrons are willing to spend a little more to get more product than they would when buying separately, the retail giant created Sam’s Club by offering bulk packages that would satisfy the “more bang for your buck” ideology.  The same can, and often is, applied to the healthcare industry.  Taking your products and grouping them together based on benefits to the patient can create more room for selling by allowing the patient to get a slight discount when they purchase more.  Providers can take the liberty of choosing which products and services they are comfortable with bundling and add the finishing touch by giving it a name clients can remember and ask for in the future.

Vitamin and supplement sales
With a growing number of practices implementing in-house dispensaries, anti-aging physicians can carve out add to their revenue by supplying vitamins and supplements at their practice. With sales reaching more than $23 billion and steadily climbing, physicians can stand to generate sizable profits from this service line.  Give yourself an extra boost of credibility and formalize the supplements by adding them to treatment plans as actual prescription orders, filling them before the patient even walks out of the door.  Also, make it easy to build reoccurring revenue by allowing patients to request their refills online via a secure portal.


What added service lines are working for your practice?  Share your thoughts with P2P readers.