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Diversifying a Practice with Drug Testing

By Andrew David Easler, Esq.

Opening an individual practice can be incredibly rewarding. Whether you are a chiropractor, a physician, or some other medical professional running their own practice, you also know the struggles of trying to keep a practice open and busy. While looking within your scope of practice for additional ways to keep a practice busy and operating, it is worthwhile to look into alternative methods of diversifying practice. One easy, effective, and beneficial way of diversifying a practice- regardless of your medical scope of practice- is by offering drug testing. Why is diversification so important for a practice? What are some challenges to diversification? Where does drug testing fit into this?

Why Diversify?

More and more, medical professionals have come to recognize the benefits of operating practices with multiple treatment options available. According to the Concierge Medicine Research Collective[1], more than 80% of offices offering concierge medical services also offer services under traditional insurances. Why is this the case?

In our diversified communities today, many clinics are in prime locations to offer medical services to clients of varied demographics. As such, having a specialized practice excludes certain clientele and limits their access to the healthcare they need. In order to rise up and meet these needs, a multi-faceted approach is needed on behalf of the clinic or practice. Being able to offer multiple services increases income for the practice, allowing it to stay in business and operate more efficiently.

Any medical professional operating a practice can tell you that one of the primary challenges of operating a more specialized practice is keeping business steady. There are times that you have more patients than you can handle, and then there are times when you struggle to keep your schedule full. A diversified practice will be able to help stabilize these changes. At the times when you are having a difficult time filling appointment slots, more emphasis can be put on the alternate income stream. While this usually isn’t as profitable as your primary focus, it typically can be enough to keep things open and ready for another wave of patients.

Challenges to Diversification

However, there are some drawbacks that are naturally associated with diversifying a medical practice. As a medical practitioner with a practice of your own, you are obviously passionate about what you do. Even after the needed schooling, you have put forth great effort to specialize in what you offer to your clients. It is only natural for you to want to spend as much time offering this service to the community. While diversifying your practice comes with financial benefits, it also takes some of your time away from focusing on your specialization. For this reason, some medical professionals have been hesitant to look into diversifying their medical practice.

Another potential challenge that comes with diversifying a medical practice is the added set-up cost. While having an additional revenue stream for your practice will add more income down the road, it will usually come with some start up costs. This may be equipment, training, additional insurance or certification, or added staff. In order to diversify a practice in more traditional ways, you must currently be in a position to expand. This means that diversification is not an option for many practices that find themselves struggling.

Once a medical practice has diversified and offers another optional service, clients will not immediately show up. Instead, there will be some time that this alternative service is offered and clients are not aware. When this diversification involves another form of medical care, it can be difficult to find clients that would be in a position to require it. Additionally, the Stark law[2] limits a physician’s ability to refer a client to receive medical services from themselves or medical practices that they are affiliated with. Any medical professional considering in-house diversification should familiarize themselves with the specifics of the Stark law, as well as any applicable state or local laws on the subject.

Diversifying with Drug Testing

Thankfully, there is an option that offers the benefits of having a diversified medical practice while eliminating many of the drawbacks of traditional diversification in a medical practice. Drug testing services can help to supply a medical practice with an alternate revenue stream while allowing you to focus on your preferred practice area.

Drug testing is an important service that can be overseen and offered in most medical practices. Because drug testing is required year-round and is separate from the traditional medical community, having drug testing as a diversified source of income will allow you to maintain a steady flow of clients even when you are experiencing a lull in patients. Drug testing is a relatively simple process that can easily be integrated into just about any medical practice.

While most options for diversifying a medical practice do some with certain drawbacks, drug testing services avoid many of these common pitfalls. For example, while many available diversification methods will pull you away from your preferred clientele and practice, drug testing is a relatively simple and hassle-free service to offer in house without distracting you from your specialty. Drug testing offers a relatively low set-up cost, with the primary cost being a one-time certification course to establish staff competency. Once this singular fee has been paid, the majority of fees will be more than covered by the costs associated with the drug test itself.

Drug testing offers a unique opportunity for bringing in clients. While simply informing your current patients that drug testing services are offered will likely generate some business, you can generate even more business by simply being proactive. Reaching out to nearby companies and informing them of the drug testing services you offer will likely motivate them to utilize your services. When looking at large sources of clients like this, it is easy to negotiate group discounts and still turn a profit. This makes drug testing an excellent service to offer to make up for the times that appointments are few and far between.

When choosing a drug testing certification course, it is important to be selective. Some companies offer certifications that do not meet the minimum requirements as set out by law. Others offer discounted courses, only to later point out that further courses are required at an increased rate. Having courses written up by someone familiar with the legal requirements that still offers transparent pricing and fees can be hard to come by. Drugtestingcourses.com offers just that, honest pricing and high quality training at a reasonable price to help you diversify your practice and continue to grow.

[1] https://members.fordoctorsforum.org/

[2] https://oig.hhs.gov/compliance/physician-education/01laws.asp

The information on this page may have changed since we first published it. We give great legal advice, but this page (and the rest of our site) is for informational use only and is no substitute for actual legal advice. If you’d like to establish an attorney-client relationship, reach out to us and we’ll tell you how we can make it official. Sending us an email or reading this page alone doesn’t mean we represent you.

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