Dr. J. Mark Provenza: Adding revenue streams to GI practices

J. Mark Provenza, MD, is a gastroenterologist who practices at an ASC and is a partner at GastroIntestinal Specialists in Shreveport, La. Here, he shares his thoughts on ancillary revenue streams for GI practices and ASCs.

Question: What are some ancillary revenue sources you think GIs should know about?

Dr. J. Mark Provenza: Besides the cornerstone ASC, clinical drug research provides adjacent benefits to our patients and referral partners while adding synergy to a practice. Hemorrhoid banding, anesthesia, BioFire, UltraSound, FibroScan, video capsule and infusion offer tremendous value to our patients, saving them out of pocket dollars and time while generating incremental income for the practice.

Q: How can GIs in practice use research as an ancillary revenue source?

JMP: Building in referrals to our research center from our internal database and leveraging referral partners' patient base adds value in the acceleration of our recruitment efforts while delivering goodwill to our patients. Participation on the leading edge of research offers insights into what is coming and how to scale our practice in these areas ahead of competition (i.e. Hep-C, IBD and now NASH). This framework bridges exceptionally well to hemorrhoid banding; we identify patients as they depart our ASC — our practice will diagnose an estimated 2,300 hemorrhoid patients this year — and offer referral partner awareness of the CRH O'Regan System; our non-surgical, rubber band ligation procedure which definitively relieves their patients of a very common condition.

Q: What would you say are the first steps GIs can take to incorporate these revenue streams into their practices?

JMP: There are many steps to consider before implementing a new service: identify a physician champion; conduct a feasibility test; make a CAPEX commitment; prepare the project team– develop a marketing and messaging campaign; and launch! For some services, your first step may be to seek a trusted company that can assist with this implementation rather than straining your internal resources or working with multiple companies. With hemorrhoid banding, for example, we partnered with CRH Medical as they offer a turnkey approach including clinical education, operational best practices and marketing. This service has been so successful for our practice and patients that we have branded this part of our practice as the Hemorrhoid Center of Louisiana.

Q: Any final thoughts to add?

JMP: Fundamentally, a strategic map is essential to anyone's success. We all get mired down in the day to day operations. Without a prescription of initiatives — planned for, committed to and with a team in place to deliver — an enterprise will find itself lagging behind its peer group and losing market share. Bigger is better, for better or for worse in today’s healthcare environment. Paying attention to your horizontal and vertical growth are two discussions that should be a part of every board meeting.

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