When Should You Consider including Lab Services in Your Practice?

In a Family Practice Management Journal article a few years back, Dr. Christine A. Sinsky wrote of ways for medical practices to work smarter rather than working harder – most healthcare professionals work hard enough as it is. Her first suggestion out of the 12 she made was having pre-appointment labs set up, so results are there during the visit. This would give the doctor the opportunity to provide better care and focus on any concerns with the patient sooner.

In-house labs can be convenient for the patient, help your staff provide better care and can be profitable as you receive reimbursements. However, many practices hesitate to set up one because they think the regulations are too difficult, they will need to hire more staff, and get the right equipment. Let’s address each of those concerns in turn:

  • Regulations: While it is correct that an in-house lab needs to adhere to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, these regulations are in no way impossible to meet. And if you are concerned about meeting all of them, you can hire a CLIA consultant to help you get started.
  • Staff: Yes, you do need someone who knows how to run a lab, but you may be able to cross-train a nurse or other personnel you already have on how to run it, and most simple labs can often be run by someone with a high school diploma and the proper training, so this doesn’t need to be a major expense on your practice.
  • Equipment: While it may feel daunting and expensive to find the right equipment, you can use the steep competition between equipment vendors to your advantage. Vendors will be happy to let you know which are the most commonly bought equipment in a starting lab, and you can often find great deals on medical practice supplies. In addition, you can always buy used from a trusted vendor. They will offer you equipment in good condition.

For more information on the medical equipment you’ll need for your lab and practice in general, please contact us today!

 

How to Save Money in Your Practice

With rising insurance costs, practices across the country are looking for ways to save money. There are several ways for a medical practice to increase profitability; it just requires some work and thinking outside of the box. Check out the list below for tips on staying cost effective.

Incorporate Technology

Many staff members have the unenviable and time consuming job of contacting patients via telephone with appointment reminders, billing issues, and questions. However, many offices are now switching to patient portals, which make interaction a cinch. These services offer text message appointment reminders and can even provide patients with medical results. This is a great way to free up staff members for more useful and important tasks in the office. 

Rent Space   

If there is a large amount of space that is not being used in your office, renting out the unoccupied area is a great way to bring revenue into your practice. Some doctors are under the misapprehension that they have to partner with the other doctor or service that they rent the space to, but this is not the case.

Market Your Practice

An easy way to avoid spending is to utilize free advertising platforms. A great way to market your practice and services is to use social media. It’s very easy to create a Facebook page that current patients can follow and refer to family and friends. Posting an interesting or informative article every week is a great way to communicate with existing and potential patients.

Shop for Supplies

Many practices select a medical supply company to work with and never shop around for prices. You can easily save hundreds just by checking different sites and their prices on regular supplies. Many companies will even match prices if you find something cheaper through a different supplier. Don’t throw money out the window by not seeing what is out there!

By thinking outside of the box, you will quickly see that it is possible to save money. Running a practice is very expensive, so it’s important to cut back where you can. Talk to other medical professionals to see what they do to save money.

What Would Another Shutdown Mean to Our Nation’s Laboratories?

 

The sixteen-day government shutdown in October was a scary problem for many Americans. Many government workers were furloughed for a portion or the entirety of the shutdown; travelers’ plans were detoured as all national monuments and parks were closed; and funding for some of our most important programs, including those in public health, was suspended.

 

Although the shutdown officially ended on the 17th, the gridlock that remains in Washington is still there. And the solution reached was only a short-term one. The agreement approved by Congress only funds the government until January 15th. Therefore, we could be doing this again shortly after the New Year, which is scary for American for so many reasons.

 

With that in mind, we wanted to make reference to a few stories, which highlighted some of the fears laboratory workers, industry researchers and public policy officials had about what the shutdown would do in regard to the operation of our nation’s laboratories. Many of our laboratories rely on government funding to stay open, so a long-term shutdown could affect staffing, laboratory supplies and research capabilities. Here is just a small sample of the fears echoed by these people:

 

  • No Flu Monitoring: The Center for Disease Control was partially closed during the shutdown, and one of the programs that ceased for the period was all disease monitoring systems. This includes flu monitoring, which is dangerous as we’re now in Flu Season, and it changes every year.
  • No Food Inspection: While much has been said about the removal of food inspectors during the shutdown, labs were affected as well. Lab research on food-borne illnesses and parasites/bacteria that affect our food systems were suspended, which could result in greater tampering of meat/produce.
  • No NIH Grants: Many of the trials and medical research done in our nation’s best labs are funded by the NIH. During the shutdown, the NIH suspended reviewing and issuing any new grants as well as accepting trials. This had an immediate effect on patients in trials as well as research for future medical breakthroughs.

 

As a leader in healthcare and laboratory supplies industry, Cen-Med provides affordable and dependable products to help lab and medical professionals do their jobs to the best of their ability. For more information on how we can help you find affordable solutions in a time of unsure funding, contact us today.

How a Medical Supply Company Like Cen-Med Saves Clients Money

The medical industry is a difficult and unforgiving business. For most small medical businesses, including clinics and doctor’s offices, it is a challenge just to remain afloat. These companies must find creative ways to streamline their budgets in order to flourish. Choosing the right medical supply company is an excellent way to reduce a budget without making sacrifices that will affect patients. Companies like Cen-Med Enterprises are able to save our business clients money due to the following five factors:

1. Distributed Business Model

The advantage that a distributed business model has over the traditional medical supply company model is that it optimizes versatility and maximizes profitability for both the supplier and the consumer. We achieve this by taking advantage of modern technology and sophisticated supply chains.

2. Low Overhead

The modern supply company has far less overhead than the traditional medical supplier does. The aforementioned distribution model is an important factor. Another is that modern supply companies like ours tend to be Internet-based and do not require the trappings of a brick-and-mortar enterprise.

3. Time

Due to this Web-based configuration, suppliers are able to provide their services faster and more efficiently. Supplies arrive promptly, and client businesses are not required to maintain overstock just to prepare for a delivery failure and other shortcomings.

4. Bulk Discounts

The modern medical supply company can provide its clients with wholesale discounts regardless of how much they purchase at any given time. The traditional supplier is limited by local demand. The modern supplier has nationwide or even international reach, which allows for consistent buying power.

5. Direct Shipping

Even in a distributed, Internet-based configuration, there are medical supplies and equipment that are cost prohibitive to stock. The versatile supplier can overcome this premium through direct shipping, which means that they facilitate a direct relationship between the manufacturer and the consumer.

Choosing a good medical supply company is one of the most important decisions that a medical business will make, regardless of how small they are or how long they have been established. Prices are an important, but are not the only factor. Avoid high-pressure sales and seek a reputable company like Cen-Med Enterprises that values its small clients just as much as its large ones.

Have You Heard about Cen-Med’s Calibration Services?

Once you purchase the correct lab equipment for your research or medical facility, you can just turn a blind eye and never worry about the equipment again, right? You could, but you won’t have reliable results or enjoy the full lifetime of the lab equipment you spent good money on. Think of it like a car: if you never change the oil or perform regular maintenance, the car will eventually break down, no matter how well it ran when you bought it. Because of this, it’s important to have regular maintenance and inspections performed. Cen-Med’s expert team of technicians can provide these services and help you see the benefits of regular maintenance and inspections. These benefits include

- Accurate results through our calibration services. We offer three different calibration services depending on your needs. These include our basic Level 1 plan withPM and accuracy verification for non-cGMP/cGLP; our Level 2, which includes calibration data readouts; and our most comprehensive plan, the Level 3.

- Identification of minor problems before they get worse. Our inspection services will help catch problems before they happen, so you don’t have to waste money on new equipment.

- Laboratory downtime is kept to a minimum. Most laboratories or healthcare facilities can ill-afford downtime as they wait for laboratory equipment to be repaired. Properly maintained equipment will ensure that emergency, unexpected repairs aren’t needed.