The hearing healthcare industry is changing. When I started my business, I was the only audiologist in a county of 150,000 and now I have seven competitors within seven miles.
Competition is increasing; Big Box stores are killing us on price; hearing aids are literally available everywhere; insurance companies are turning over their hearing benefits to internet providers; OTC legislation is on the horizon; reimbursement that we do receive is declining and yet, the percentage of people with hearing loss that get hearing aids is not increasing. All of these factors can make it difficult to operate a profitable practice. For many years, hearing healthcare professionals have had the luxury of being in a high margin, low volume business but the trends have changed and practice owners are being forced to do more for less. Consequently, every practice owner needs a strategy for maximizing profitability.
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My degree in audiology did not teach nor prepare me to operate a successful business. I have faced many challenges over the years as a practice owner and this past year has been particularly difficult. OTCs, TPA’s, lower reimbursements have all increased the difficulty of operating a successful practice. When confronted with difficulties, I seek the advice from other experienced professionals to help me create and sustain a profitable practice. What I have learned is that business is business, no matter what type of business you are in, and a business will not manage itself. It’s critical to have a strategy for success.
I remember the turning point in my life as a practice owner when I said, “What the heck? I worked my butt off and I made less than my receptionist!” That isn’t a unique situation but it certainly is an unpleasant one. I found myself again just last month reviewing numbers in my practice and wondering what had happened to create the down turn in revenue. After digging deep to find out exactly what had gone wrong, it became obvious that the problems were internal and as simple as failing to hold the staff accountable for doing their jobs well. We would all like to think that employees will just do their jobs but I have never found that to be realistic. Management has to be constant and consistent. I have become laser focused and have devised a strategy for maximizing profitability in my practice. I call it The PUMP It Strategy – Plan It, Understand It, Monitor It and Push It.
Sign up for my next enewsletter at DrGyl.com and get the specifics of my PUMP It strategy.