Future-proofing clinical practice

Recently, Candela partnered with Frost & Sullivan to host an hour-long virtual Think Tank session with prominent physicians. The forum brought together practicing physicians across specialties to discuss challenges in healthcare. They discussed key strategies to improve practice revenue and cash flow, decrease operational and logistic stress, and increase patient retention. The following represents an executive summary of the session.

As the world braces both socially and economically for clarity as politicians work to carve out a new health policy for all, physicians know they must adapt and evolve traditional ways of practicing medicine. To prosper, and in some cases survive, in a value-based healthcare continuum, dermatologists are altering practice revenue cycles, payer arrangements, embracing new technology and adopting new medical devices. Untapped patient populations, who until now were not viable candidates for care, are now candidates for aesthetic procedures. Moreover, current dermatology operations and patient mix are at risk in a new paradigm of declining reimbursement and regulations.

The reimbursement is so low that you can’t actually practice as a healthcare provider and still make a livable wage. Reimbursement rate and administrative work are challenging, we cannot keep up with service levels. Bottom line, many physicians need to radically expand into the aesthetic field.
Dr. Anne Lord-Tomas, Board Certified OB/GYN & Cosmetogynecology
They are hungry for education, they’re hungry for new services, and they are hungry for new technology, whether it is the new lasers or women’s health that provides whole new regimens of aesthetic care.
Dr. Dan Wasserman, Dermatologist

It is clear that traditional methods of practicing medicine and reimbursement for providing care are evolving. A core objective is to determine how to extend care and service lines beyond the traditional concept of practicing medicine. This includes adopting new technology and expanding the care that brings new revenue streams. This thinking of extending aesthetic services to create a sustainable business model moving forward, extends beyond the complex nature of medicine with its labyrinth of payers and reimbursement regulations.

Canada, which has universal health coverage, presents disruptors which challenge many practices. As a result, practicing dermatologists wanting to evolve their practice to pursue better quality outcomes by providing services that enable patients to maintain their health are challenged because these services simply do not exist. This is mainly due to the way the hierarchy of government- provided healthcare and capitated reimbursement currently functions. Consequently, by expanding and extending aesthetic services, it creates new opportunities for staff members to learn new techniques and skills. Additionally, as new technology is embraced by staff and patients, you begin to see rudimentary changes to practice operations. This internal shift in thinking, suddenly presents a whole new approach to patient care for staff and practicing physicians. Nurses begin to have open dialogues with patients about improving their health, eliminating harmful behavior and lifestyles. Suddenly, the purpose of treating patients revolves around improving health holistically, not focusing solely on treating their maladies. With the inclusion of energy-based devices, practices have the potential to offer overall wellness plans for their patients. Moreover, energy-based devices usher in a plethora of additional minimally invasive techniques as alternatives to plastic surgery. For more information about the virtual Think Tank series, download the article here.