In our last post, we discussed some practice considerations that could come up as telemedicine becomes more prevalent - especially as we navigate a global pandemic. In addition to those practice considerations, expense management is also a major facet of implementing telemedicine services in your office.
Today, let’s cover some of the aspects of expense management as they relate to telemedicine.
One upside of telemedicine is that practitioners can spend more time with patients, but less time with in-office appointments, so the amount of inventory you keep in your practice does not need to be as expansive as it did before telemedicine was an option.
Essentially, once you get to a comfortable place where your practice has increased virtual visits and decreased in-office visits, you can start adjusting your inventory accordingly.
Adjusting Variable and Fixed Expenses
Variable expenses are those which can fluctuate depending on the volume of patients coming into your practice, so once you have a lower volume of patients physically visiting your office, you will be able to reduce the amount you spend on variable expenses, like gloves or other personal protective equipment.
Fixed expenses are those which are a consistent payment you make on a regular basis, like your rent or utilities.
These expenses can be a bit more difficult to adjust, but there are opportunities for savings if you make adjustments like renting out a portion of your space to another practitioner, or cancelling subscriptions to newspapers or magazines you keep in your waiting room.
As your practice becomes accustomed to operating with telemedicine services, a common side effect is that practitioners will have more time to spend with patients because they have less in-person preparation required for appointments.
Due to this efficiency surge, you could find that your practice is over-staffed. Because of this, one way you can manage your expenses with telemedicine is by reducing your staff to a more manageable amount of employees, or even just decreasing some employees’ hours.
Doing so will decrease your overhead in a way that is practical for your practice to handle, due to the increased efficiency that comes with telemedicine services.
The key takeaway from this article is that implementing telemedicine services in your medical practice will lead to several opportunities for expense management, including managing your inventory, adjusting fixed and variable expenses, or re-evaluating your staffing situation based on your needs.
For more information on practice management, check out our blog!