So now that we are in the spend, spend, spend season, I thought I would round up some more ways to SAVE money in medical practices. The following tips are from the mundane to the grandiose.
- Get your printer cartridges refilled, rather than buying new ones. And, hey it’s “green”!
- Get free forms. Visit www.entreprenuer.com/formnet. They have forms for collections, credit cards etc. Better than making ‘em yourself, or paying for them!
- Use independent contractors. ExtraMD (my company) is made up of independent contractor physicians. We fill in locally around town, and cost less than the big locums companies. Practices save because we are independent contractors, and pay our own taxes/malpractice etc. There may be similar groups in your location. In addition, consider independent contractors for prn nursing, front desk help etc. CAVEAT: check with your attorney/accountant to make sure the people you are using fit the stringent IRS definitions of independent contractors.
- Shop around for over night mail couriers. Boy was I shocked at the differences! It cost about FIVE dollars less to use USPS over night versus another big company!
- Make sure you plan for taxes appropriately so you don’t get soaked with penalties. My bookkeeper calls this “tax anticipation.”
- Get the best credit card rates. If you run balances, for pity’s sake get the lowest interest rates!
- Look at a “sweep” account. If you run large balances for 2-3 weeks at a time, a sweep account allows you to move your money in and out of an interest bearing account easily, and earn interest, rather than having your money sit in a non-interest bearing account.
- Ask suppliers if they will give discounts for early payments. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Make sure your billing company is a bull dog. Don’t let them write off claims too easily. I will post more on this later.
- Get at least three bids on every purchase (especially the big ones!) When you DO finally purchase something, see if you can bargain, or quote a competitors price!
- Reassess your phone plan and the number of lines you have.
- Eliminate paper waste. Copy on both sides of the page. Why add more to the land fill any way?
- Use coupons. Don’t laugh! Get your medical assistants to find them. Check out www.searchalldeals.com for lots of coupons on just about any purchase.
- Sell equipment you aren’t using on Craigs List. (www.craiglist.org )
- Make sure you are getting the best rates on business/medical/malpractice insurance.
Just try doing one or two, and see where it gets you. I will search out more ideas in the next post. As a reminder, try to have your staff look at this list and implement a few money saving practices. Your time should not be spent clipping coupons! I would love to hear YOUR tips! Also would love to hear gripes/tips/info on coding in your practice.
For more info check out these on-line articles: