In the last note I discussed the need to understand your current patient demographics, since they can both positively or negatively impact your cash flows. We briefly discussed how the Ability to pay impacts cash flows. Next on our list is Health Condition. It is important to understand the mix of current patients’ health.
Categorizations. Start with a simple categorization: Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average, Poor and Very Poor. Obviously if the majority of the patients are in good or excellent health it is easier to provide the services and procedures than if they are in poor or very poor health.
Good or excellent Condition category. Those in good or excellent health may not be concerned about their health and so the challenge is to motivate them to have annual physicals and to guide them on how to maintain their health status. This is normally the focus of the “GP” or internists. Many in this category have created “concierge practices” that charge with annual fees. The emerging “urgent care” or convenient care organizations are also focusing on this segment.
Poor or Critical Condition category On the other extreme are those in poor or very poor health where the challenge is to help them survive and improve their health. These are the focus of the specialists who are most often affiliated with hospitals or prestigious organizations, like Mayo, Cleveland, Johns Hopkins and others. These services are expensive and complex and are post often covered by insurance, government programs and foundations.
Cash Flow Impact Now and Projected. The key to success is to understand your current mix of health conditions and see if they are changing and then determine each category impacts cash flow now and in the future. This insight combined ability to pay important to understand, since those in good health are likely to be able to pay but must be convinced they need to help. Those with serious problems are likely to need financial help and maybe completely funded by others.