List of Ancillary Services in Healthcare: Finding the Right Level For Your Practice
Adding ancillary services to your practice not only acts as an additional revenue stream, but it improves your patient care experience. It’s a win-win for both practitioners and patients alike.
Exactly what are ancillary services and which are the best to implement? To determine what ancillary services your practice should consider adding, let’s first list out the common ancillary services in healthcare.
LIST OF ANCILLARY SERVICES IN HEALTHCARE
There are tons of ancillary care services on the market. However, unless you are part of a major hospital network, not all of these are necessarily practical to implement (more on that below).
Here are the most common ancillary services:
- Cardiac Monitoring
- Laboratory Testing
- Mobile Diagnostic Services
- Radiology/Diagnostic Imaging
- Sleep Laboratory Services
- Allergy Services
- Behavioral Health Services
- Chiropractic Services
- Diabetes Education
- Occupational Therapy
- Med Spa
- Nutrition and Food Service
- Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Ventilator Services
- Wound Care
- Home Health Care
- Home Infusion Care
- Hospice Care
- Medical Day Care
- Nursing Homes
- Private Duty Nursing
ANCILLARY CARE SERVICES: MEETING THE BOTTOME LINE
With a wealth of ancillary care options at your disposal, which are going to be most cost-effective for providers? This question largely revolves around the patients any given practice is serving.
Opening ancillary care facilities in an existing building can be an expensive project, depending on what you are planning to offer.
Some services, like food and nutrition education, require few upstart costs, while others, like lab testing, require expensive equipment and potential construction costs. Not to mention staffing fees, accreditation, additional rent costs, and legal fees.
With cost in the picture, consider how these services might benefit your overall workflow:
- Convenience – When physicians refer a patient to another office, they lose out on potential revenue. Patients are also frustrated by making multiple trips. Lab testing and ECG services are two of the most common ancillary services for this reason. Offering these will provide a steady stream of revenue, and make your practice a one-stop shop.
- Understanding Your Patients – What services are you most commonly referring patients to? This is a great starting point not only for understanding what revenue you might be losing out on, but also what your patients would like to see at your practice. Revenue cycle management helps you understand which areas of your business you can improve.
- What Are Other Physicians Offering – Having ancillary care options that other practitioners do not can make your business model competitive, but only if the need already exists. Conversely, services like medical spas are attractive to aging populations, but high demand has made it extremely competitive. Find your niche, and promote it.
Adding ancillary services to your practice is a business decision that will offer affordable benefits to patients, but not all make sense for any given practice. Custodial services, which typically include residential care, are the most difficult to implement, while diagnostic services provide the greatest service benefits.
COMMON STRATEGIES TO ANCILLARY CARE SERVICES
Aside from cost, legal ramifications around ancillary services tend to be one of the greatest pitfalls that practitioners face when onboarding these care options. Working with people that already have experience in the field can help you avoid these problems.
Here are a few things to look at before you implement ancillary care in your practice:
Analyze Your Customers Existing Needs
Ancillary care services are a tool, not a passion project. As such, they should benefit your existing client base and draw in new customers.
The electronic medical record is a great tool for understanding what services you are referring other patients to the most. Identifying these is an excellent starting point. During visits with patients, asking them if they would be interested in these services or sending out surveys will derive useful information about what they want. It also adds lip service to potential ventures.
Consult Legal Experts and Colleagues
Early on in the process, it is recommended that you speak with legal experts. Rental agreements, managed care agreements, and medical liability policies all factor into ancillary care in unexpected ways—compliance is essential to this process.
To avoid expensive equipment costs, many practitioners choose to form a partnership with a vendor. This is an affordable choice that will allow you to quickly get these services running, but come with their own problems. Anti-kickback laws are not something to be trifled with, and violating them can land hefty fines and even jail time.
Talk With Payors
In order for ancillary services to be cost effective, payors must be willing to provide beneficial reimbursements for your new offerings. This is a conversation many practitioners are unprepared for in regards to ancillary contracting.
When speaking with payors, getting the best contracts is essential. Unfortunately, hiring on full-time staff to fulfill this function is expensive in its own right.
Experts like PayrHealth specialize in negotiations, and can help you avoid many of the common problems practitioners face when opening ancillary practices.
For over 25 years, the experts at PayrHealth have worked in payor coordination. Whether you’re looking for support for an existing contracting team or outsourcing altogether, PayrHealth can help. Contact us today!
Horizon Blue. What Are Ancillary Services? https://www.horizonblue.com/sgs/tools-services/find-doctor/what-are-ancillary-services
RevelMD. 5 Ancillary Services to Increase Your Practice Revenue. https://www.revelemd.com/blog/5-ancillary-services-to-increase-your-practice-revenue
Medical Economics. Grow Your Practice With Ancillary Services. https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/grow-your-practice-ancillary-services
MGMA. One-Stop Shopping: Finding the Right Level of Ancillary Service For Your Practice. https://www.mgma.com/event-registration/mgma18-the-operations-conference/session-handouts/con401-finding-the-right-level-of-ancillary-servic
MedConverge. Ancillary Services to Increase Revenue for Your Medical Practice. https://www.medconverge.com/2016/05/19/ancillary-services-to-increase-revenue-for-your-medical-practice/