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Thank you for visiting the Southern Medical Consultants website. Below you will find a listing of the things we can do for your practice, videos, and content about Practice Marketing and Profitable Operations. At The Southern Medical Consultants Group, we specialize in programs that are low risk, but high gain. That means you don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you will most likely have a very significant return. We are focused on helping doctors increase revenue in ways that allow them to spend more time with their patients. We know making patients better is the real reason you became a doctor and we really want to help you accomplish that goal. To begin increasing your practice's revenue as soon as possible, call now!

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What the Southern Medical Consultants Group Can Do for Your Practice

  • Improve your online reputation and get your practice, new patients
  • Improve patient satisfaction and increase patient retention
  • Analyze your market area to find the kind of patients you want
  • Develop targeted marketing programs and improve your payer mix
  • Create and implement digital marketing programs integrated with your website and get your practice new patients
  • Review your coding to make sure it is always appropriate and supports follow up visits
  • Reduce denials and improve cash flow
  • Organize, analyze and maximize payer contracts and fee schedules
  • Display how various reimbursement rates will affect your bottom line
  • Test the adequacy of your charges
  • Test payer offers and your counter offers 
  • Design and implement patient engagement programs, increase average income per patient and improve patient outcomes
  • Eliminate phone and paper costs
  • Clarify inter and intra office communication status
  • Free staff time
  • Decrease days in AR
  • Improve patient collections
  • Clean up accounts receivable
  • Improve cash flow
  • Create customized dashboards to display Key Performance Indicators

Effective Practice Marketing

Success in Marketing is based around two things: • Having something valuable and important to say • Having someone to say it to who agrees on the value and importance

As an example, if I were marketing fur coats, it would be important to help people understand the insulation value the coats provided and how comfortable and stylish they were. It would also be important that I presented this story to people who lived in climates where fur coats were necessary. Let me bring this into the world of ambulatory Medical Practices. Doctors have to communicate to patients the positive effects their practices have had on other patients. Prospective patients have a very hard time translating how the school a doctor attended will affect their experience at the practice. What they really want to see is how other patients who have been treated by the practice have felt about their experience. Prospective patients have important considerations and requirements that all practices need to address. 91% of patients looking for a new doctor go to Google first. When they search for a doctor, what they want to find are patient reviews that are current and that have been posted by the patients themselves. 70% of patients looking for a new doctor say their decision is not affected by reviews more than 30 days old and that they don’t trust reviews that have been hand-picked by the practice. If you want to grow your practice, you need to be very proactive in managing your online reputation and you need to make sure you have a constant supply of new reviews. Patients will also check other rating services. You need to make sure that you have good current Google reviews and that all of the other rating services have good current information as well. Okay. You have taken control of your online reputation and you are now getting positive reviews from patients every day. You have made sure that you are getting good ratings on all of the rating sights. Congratulations on a job well done, but there’s more to do. Now that your website is where it needs to be, you need to be sure that the kind of patients you want to attract are visiting the site and seeing all of the positive things about your practice. How can you identify the kinds of patients you want to attract and how can you communicate with just them? You can identify the kind of patients you want to attract by analyzing the patients you have treated over the past two years. Using just the patient’s physical address so there are no HIPAA violations, we can give you wonderful insights into each patient’s psychographic and demographic data. We can show you where the patients you have treated are located relative to your practice. We can show you the kinds of patients you have treated and what percent of the market around the practice they comprise of. We can show you what prospective patients are the best opportunity for you to grow your practice and we can show you the channel those patients prefer to use to receive new information. We can review your competition to see what they are offering and help you articulate your competitive advantage. We can design and execute communication campaigns, based around your competitive advantage, that will drive the kind of patients you want to your website. We can show you the exact Return On Investment for the campaign. The combination of having a website that shows prospective patients how well your current patients like the treatment they get from your practice and very targeted communication campaigns that drive the kind of patients you want to your site, give you something valuable and important to say and an audience that will find the information to be interesting and compelling. That’s good marketing. To begin increasing your practice's revenue as soon as possible, call now!

Profitable Operations

The first step in Profitable Operations is having enough patients to create a revenue stream that is greater than your costs. That is the first goal of the marketing program I described above. Once your revenue begins to exceed your costs, you can start to optimize. You have a few choices:

  • You can increase revenue per patient encounter
  • You can decrease costs per patient encounter
  • You can increase the number of patients you see
  • You can do some of all of the above

Increasing Revenue per Encounter
There are options here. You can look at ancillary services that make sense clinically and that increase revenue. The key is making sure that any ancillary products or services that you add not only increase revenue, but increase patient satisfaction and improve outcomes. A doctor friend of mine said the biggest challenge of attending annual meetings for his specialty was “separating the pearls from the highly polished fecal matter”. The pearls that you find can be worth the search if they meet these criteria. You have to be continuously searching for new products and services that can help you accomplish the triple goals of increasing practice revenue and patient satisfaction while improving outcomes. At The Southern Medical Associates Group, we are constantly looking for products and services like this. We try to pick out the pearls for our practices.
You can review coding for your most frequently occurring diagnoses. You may not be coding specifically enough or in a way that supports the best follow up.  Improved follow up can increase the revenue per diagnosis as well as improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. The coder with whom I work tells me that, in over 25 years of doing chart audits, she has never found a practice that didn’t represent some coding opportunities for either better protecting the practice in the case of an audit or creating an opportunity for better care.
You can increase the degree to which the patient is engaged in their care. Communication is the key. Are you doing everything you can to make sure patients are aware of everything they need to do to manage their condition. Are they coming into the office every time they need to and are they getting everything done they need to get done when they are in. I helped one practice increase revenue by over $6,000 per month just by making sure they were doing all the recommended steps for every patient diagnosed with Diabetes.
You can also increase revenue per patient encounter by improving your payer mix. You can selectively target market to patients with better insurance and increase the percentage of patients the practice treats that have this kind of coverage. You can also increase revenue per patient encounter by making sure your insurance contracts are up to date and that you have negotiated the best rates you can. It has been surprising to me that more practices aren’t doing this.

Decreasing Costs per Patient Encounter
This is a slippery slope. You can reduce the cost of seeing the patient by decreasing the time of the visit, but there is a good chance you will negatively impact patient satisfaction and patient retention. This may also lead to increased rates of physician burnout. Both patients and doctors want the same thing; they want to spend more quality time with each other. Your best bet here is making sure that you are utilizing physician extenders like Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners as wisely as possible. You can also make sure your schedule is as efficient as possible. There are little things that can have surprising effects. In one practice the Medical Assistants were stocking and preparing patient rooms when  they came in in the morning. This delayed the time when the first patient could be seen and generally caused the practice to start behind. We changed the job descriptions of the MA’s to require that they clean and stock the patient rooms before leaving the practice in the evenings. This way, they were able to see the first patient sooner and they were able to do a much better job of staying on schedule. The practice saw more patients per day with the same staff which increased both revenue and profitability.
Depending on your state, you can explore Telemedicine. A physician can do more telemedicine encounters in a day that physical encounters and in some states the reimbursement per encounter is the same for telemedicine encounter that it is for a physical encounter. There are many instances when a telemedicine encounter can give the clinician all the information they need and be much more convenient for the patient. Telemedicine is a great tool for increasing practice revenue and profitability when focused well and used appropriately.

You Can Increase the Number of Patients You See
Once you get efficient and believe you have optimized your cost per encounter and revenue per encounter, you just need to see more encounters. Marketing is the key. But not just any kind of marketing. You need to market to ultra-targeted segments of the patient population around your practice. Your marketing message needs to help patients see what differentiates you from your competitors and show off how much your patients appreciate the kind of treatment they receive at your practice.  You also need to make sure you can track your Marketing ROI as finely as possible. The deal is not how much money you spend on marketing, it’s how much what you spend makes you.
We can help you do all of the things mentioned above and we can help you plan which should come first based on ROI and cash flow. The Southern Medical Consultants Group believes the best way to decide what to do and manage the process is to create a strategic plan that sets out a series of achievable strategic goals that are tied to specific behaviors for each member of the staff. We can help you create just such a plan. To begin increasing your practice's revenue as soon as possible, call now!

Self-financing Growth

Self-Financing Growth is growth in which the first step produces sufficient revenue to pay for the second step, and the second step produces enough revenue to pay for the third step, and on it goes. The trick is to have at least the first few steps in mind and know how much they will cost and how much revenue each step will probably produce. The first step should have a low-cost and the promise of good revenue so the return on Investment is good.

I recommend managing and marketing your on-line reputation as a first step. The cost is low and there is a performance guarantee. If, after three months, you don’t like the results, you can get all of your money back. It is worth noting that, while this policy has been in place for years, no one has ever taken advantage of it. This works and has resulted in increases in practice revenue of up to 25%. You will definitely see an increase in new patients.

Your Premier Resource For Optimal Practice Revenue Growth, and Profitability

Contact Southern Medical Consultants Group today to learn more about our innovative combination of products and services. Our low risk, high gain approach will give you the most cost effective way to increase your practice's revenue and profitability. We look forward to working with you!