Tips to Improve Profitability in Pain Management Practices

March 31, 2021

Pain management is a specialty in flux. Not only are more chronic pain sufferers seeking out treatment, but the release of a recent Center for Disease Control report, which found more people die from prescription drug overdoses than heroin and cocaine combined, has created a backlash over opioid prescriptions and a call for alternative treatments. Here are 8 tips for a pain management center to increase profitability:

Increase Patient Referrals

Increasing the number of patients in a pain management practice is the first step toward increased profitability. Most patients are referred to a pain management practice by a primary care provider, so increasing referrals by primary care providers is one way to raise the patient volume. To generate more patients, you need to take a look at your clinical model and your relationship with multiple primary care providers. Conduct assessments and provide changes to your given services to create a unique story that will encourage referring physicians to frequently send their patients to you with a pain condition.  

Hire a physician liaison. 

 A physician liaison plays an important role in managing and building relationships with primary care providers for your practice. Someone must actively inform and interact with primary care doctors that the services they need are available in your practice. They can potentially get you 50-75 new referrals each month. A four-year degree in an allied health area such as functional or behavioral health is required for this role. They should have a friendly demeanor and be at ease approaching and engaging with people. 

Communicate with primary care providers

To ensure a consistent and continued patient referral flow, maintaining constant communication with primary care doctors is crucial. It includes providing timely reports and reminders to prescribing doctors, primary providers, and specialists. Associations with prescribing doctors are viewed as collaborations. They are familiar with their patients’ histories and needs, while pain management practices have insight, support, and service in an environment where many primary care doctors lack knowledge and experience.

Offer cutting-edge treatments. 

Primary care providers would refer more patients to you if you offer all pain management procedures like radiofrequency ablation and spinal cord stimulator implants. According to the co-founder of Universal Pain Management, Francis Riegler, MD, the spinal cord stimulator devices are only available to only three medical device manufacturers and the market is extremely competitive. Practices should inquire with other vendors around their vicinity to get the best price. 

Incorporate anesthesia.

Incorporating anesthesia into your procedures can increase your revenue than with conscious sedation or no sedation. However, it should always be done with medical necessity. Base it on a patient-by-patient case and adhere to the strict protocols on regulatory requirements. 

Maximize the use of space. 

Use every inch of space of your practice wisely. You can convert your large conference room into two additional procedure rooms. You can also transfer your follow-up consultations to telehealth, too. 

Automate tasks

You can set up an automated system for your scheduling, inquiries, refill requests, and more. You’d be able to reduce no-shows too with patient portals and patient apps where your patients can schedule or cancel their appointments 24/7. A patient self-service check-in kiosk will lessen the administrative burden of your staff by expediting the check-in processes. 

Always Double-check

Having complete and correct patient information and correct coding are critical to profitability. Train your staff to always double-check all data to ensure proper reimbursement. Also, take time to evaluate contracts with payors to make sure the practice received the agreed-upon reimbursement for procedures and treatments. 

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