Preventive Medicine and Profitability, Can You Make it Work?

Pediatric Blogs

In our area, there was an increase in “whooping cough” cases mainly due to an outbreak in several schools this school year.

As a result, the IL Department of Public Health issued a requirement that all children entering the sixth and the ninth grade will be required to provide proof they received Tdap. The letter they sent to parents made clear that if they didn’t have proof that the child received the shot, the child would be excluded from school (the letter did have certain exceptions, like religious exemptions).

Now, what does a patient centric, profit driven private practice supposed to do when faced with a mandate like this?

In our practice, we are very clear with our two main priorities. Priority number one? Doing what is in the best interest of the patient. That is a given. Second priority, which is just as important as priority number one… profitability.

So this is what we did:

  1. - We identified children between the ages of 11 – 12 and 14-15 that had not received their Tdap vaccination. How many kids showed up in our query? 110 6th grades and 48 9th graders.
  2. - We made a safe assumption that if they didn’t have a Tdap, they probably haven’t been in for their physical recently.
  3. - We wrote a letter to the parents of the these patients. In it, we advised the parent about the mandate, we let them know that their child hasn’t been vaccinated, and that they were probably due for a school physical so they should give  us a call and make an appointment.
  4. - Start accommodating patients that call in.

This is perfect. You know why? Because it meets both of our priorities. By reaching out, we are taking a proactive role in the healthcare of children. Sure, curing people of fevers and sore throat is important. But you know what is better medicine? Prevention.

Second, we are fulling our profitability objective because we are actively brining in children for their wellness visits that would have most likely never come again for physical until they enrolled into college.

What are you doing to take an active role in the healthcare of children and increasing profitability at the same time?

(This blog was originally posted on Pediatric Inc)

Brandon Betancourt is a business director for a pediatric practice in Chicago. He is a speaker, consultant and blogger. You can follow him on Twitter @PediatricInc or visit his blog