Fine-Tune Your Practice Specialties With This Easy Tip

by | Aug 11, 2020 | Administration, Billing & Coding

Specialties Can Drive Business to Your Practice

Specializing in or promoting a specific type of service can potentially boost your business – big time. In our mid-year webinar series, Evan Engel, one of EyeCare Pro’s marketing experts, did a great job breaking down how to position your practice to drive growth using a “topical” approach. He recommended creating highly targeted content on the practice website pages to draw in new patients who are seeking information on specialty services. That’s a powerful piece of advice. Most practice websites have a web page that discusses eye health and regular eye exams – that type of content is important, but it doesn’t make you stand out from your competition.

Evan offered some great tips on creating content that is far more likely to get you noticed, and drive appointments with new patients. For example, how many practices have a page about eye emergencies? When a parent is looking for information on what to do when their child has a scratched eye, or a foreign body in the eye, then a page that is tailored to give them that information is more likely to pop to the top of their search results, rather than a generic page on eye wellness. Smart marketing!

Tracking Specialty Services

Specialty services can be a big draw for your practice. Many practices create new initiatives to attract new patients or boost an under-performing part of the business. If you’re thinking about starting a new campaign, or trying to drive new business for a specialty service, don’t forget to plan for tracking!

I talk to EDGEPro users every day who want to know how they can leverage their reporting to capture a very specialized area of service. They know they need to be able to track the performance of their initiatives so they can evaluate their success and make needed adjustments. After all, you want to know if your efforts are working; that helps you maximize their impact. (Let’s be honest, it’s also important to be able to say “maybe we should try something else” if they’re not!) But first you need to know.

Easy Customized Reporting

One of my favorite tips to share with our users is the amazing way they can leverage our CPT Breakout report. You can actually “customize” the results of that report so it will track your specialty services automatically, with just a few easy steps. It’s incredibly useful for keeping track of any segment of your exams and services that you want to be able to isolate and evaluate, and it’s so simple.

First, let’s look at what the CPT Breakout shows you. Here’s a screenshot for your reference:

Service Codes in CPT Breakout

Here’s the magic part: the CPT Breakout shows you a separate line not just for every code, but also for every distinct description. In this screenshot, the 92015 exams are broken out into 2 separate services, even though they both use the same code, because the description is different. This practice can segment their refraction-only services, just by choosing a different description from their Practice Management Software. With a little bit of forethought, this can be highly customized to make for effective reporting.Notice that you can see at-a-glance how many of each service were performed, and how much revenue was generated by each.

For instance, let’s say you wanted to start a campaign to attract new pediatric patients. You start the marketing work, placing flyers in schools, running a local ad, and maybe a special offer to draw the kids in. You order a couple new frame lines and organize a section of your practice to be particularly friendly to your young patients. Hurray! But how will you be able to easily track which of your new patients are kids, and which are not? If you don’t plan ahead, your tracking details will be buried in the midst of the rest of the 92004, and untangling them will be a lot more work.

However, you can create a new service in your PMS, using the same CPT Code – in this instance, it would be 92004 New Patient – but customizing the description. Rather than just “New Patient Comprehensive” you could use “New Patient Pediatric.” Then all you have to do is select that code – exactly the same CPT code, billed in exactly the same way for insurance purposes, but sporting the new pediatric description. That’s really all there is to it. EDGEPro will automatically break it out as a separate line item in the CPT report, and your tracking will be automatic and always up-to-date.

The same method works for any specialty service that you want to keep track of in your office. You may want to emphasize OCT screening, or Vision Therapy, Keratoconus fits, or elderly patients, etc. Any service can be set to break out on its own line, just by giving it a distinct (unique) description, even if the CPT codes are not different.

I don’t recommend using hundreds of different codes – that’s unwieldy, and your staff would probably resist as well. Too many is almost as bad as not enough. But for highly-targeted tracking, you can’t beat a few judicious choices for creating custom codes. It’s a great way to leverage your EDGEPro subscription, and it can help you really “pump up the volume” on your targeted marketing.

By Nicole Pine

Nicole specializes in Best Practices, and helps practice owners and managers to optimize their practice management system use.


Share This