Ancillary Services as a way to Increase Revenues (?)

It was with great interest that I read the Medscape article, “Ancillary Services in Primary Care,” posted today on Medscape Internal Medicine.  The author, Leslie R. Kane  (okay, I can’t help it but I immediately thought arcane,)  goes through several strategies to boost revenues.  She investigates botox, dermal fillers, lab/lab draws, holter monitors, laser hair removal, and weight management clinic.  After reading the article, I was struck by the thought, “Is this why I went to medical school, to remove hair and plump up crows feet?”  Additionally, the weight management clinics use herbal remedies and prescription medications.   Kane interviews an internist, Dr. Larry Maguire, and he states, “”I mainly do medication-focused weight loss, using the medicines that are currently available, plus some new ones.”  I query the use of prescription and OTC medications  (remember fen-fen?) and wonder about the medical legal aspects of these programs.

I think there are two take away messages: 1) look before you leap!  Carefully analyze each opportunity with respect to additional costs, cash flow (!) and revenues.  Make sure you can afford to offer these procedures, knowing there may be a time lag before you see actual revenues.  Be sure you develop a budget for marketing and a marketing plan as well.  2) Think carefully about why you practice medicine.  If you are passionate about frown lines and unwanted hair, go for it!  Otherwise,  would  your time be better served lobbying for better reimbursement and looking for ways to maximize efficiency?

Hmmm, I’m thinking of having a little work done, perhaps these frown smile lines….

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