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Building Your DPC Practice: Exploring New Services

By Hint Best Practices
One of the many advantages of DPC for doctors is that they can broaden the scope of their practices to match patient needs and their own interests. Rather than being told what to do and when to refer to a specialist, a direct primary care doctor can look at the needs of their patients, assess a services value (both to the doctor and their panel), and then decide to add the new service.

The freedom to expand practice scope also means doctors can experiment with new services to drive additional revenue or enhance the value of their memberships.

Below are a few ideas for expanding your practice scope. Note that you may need additional training or retraining before you can offer these services, but putting in the time can lead to more job satisfaction and a stronger business.

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Counseling

Life today is stressful and more and more people seek out counseling to deal with marriage, family, self-esteem and other issues. Instead of referring patients to counselors, you might develop your own counseling programs. It could be better for your patients because you already have a good relationship with them, and you may be able to charge less for it than specialists. You should be confident that you have the proper training and temperament to be a counselor, but don't be afraid to treat emotional or psychological ailments along with physical ones.

Vasectomies

Vasectomies are relatively simple and short procedures, and they can typically be done in an outpatient setting. But depending on where your practice is located, it can be hard for people to find practitioners who do them — or the procedure may be costly. If the idea doesn't make you squeamish, then consider offering vasectomies at an affordable price.

Weight Loss/Diet Counseling

Diet and exercise services are in high demand, from body composition analysis to dietary and weight loss consulting. As a doctor, you are well-positioned to understand the risks of obesity and to provide support for patients that want to live healthier lives.

Second Opinions

Many people want second opinions about their medical diagnoses. They either lack confidence in their physicians or don’t understand the information communicated to them about their conditions. Tell your current patients that you’re available to interpret medical 'jargon' for them and offer fresh perspectives. This service can help you gain a deeper understanding of the care your current patients are receiving outside your walls; and can be a low-risk way to meet new prospects.

Minor Procedures

There are too many to list here, but there are many minor procedures that insurance companies and specialists charge a lot to perform, but that you can do as well (or better) for much less. Why send patients to other providers for simple procedures, such as joint injections, small lacerations & sutures, casting and minor surgery? Why not handle them yourself?

Sleep Medicine

According to current information from the Cleveland Clinic, more than 70 million Americans regularly deal with sleep issues, including insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy. Based on the vast scope of this problem, sleep medicine could be a valuable service for your community.

Specialized Services

Groups within your community may need unique services, such as DOT physicals, immigration examinations, travel immunizations/vaccines. Offering them could make you the DPC practitioner of choice for people in these segments.

Figure Out What Works for You

As the saying goes, "If you've seen one DPC, then you've seen...one DPC", so don’t limit yourself to the services outlined here or focus on what's been done before. Look to your patients, your interests, and your vision to come up with other services. Take advantage of the freedom to build a practice that matches your vision and provides amazing care.

Tags: Physician Stories, Medical Practice Management

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