the month of December,
The busiest season of all;
we know of no reason
why the busy insurance season,
should be as stressful as the mall!
The December Dash happens every year as patients dash to the doctors' office to use their insurance before it resets for the new year. What is an office to do with the sudden influx of patients who must be seen before the end of year, all while juggling their own end of year tasks?
Our Advice: Make Hay While The Sun Shines.
Being open for longer hours is not sustainable for an office, thankfully this is something that only needs to be done for the next 3 weeks. This is a real increase in demand for a short period of time, that if adjusted to, can reap benefits for months to come.
1) Longer days
Add an extra hour to the schedule at the end of the day for patients to be seen. At 4 patients/hour, that's an extra 20 patients/week and 60 more in 3 weeks. The office can be run with fewer individuals because fewer phone calls are made from 4 pm afterwards as folks commute home.
2) Charge Cancellation Fees (yes really)
Implement and execute on requiring a credit card for patients to make an appointment.
We are not huge fans of charging patients no-show fees because it can cause an office to miss out on a larger revenue stream for new patients since the patient can go elsewhere. However, in December, appointments are more valuable and patients need to be seen by the end of the month so they have less choice.
3) Holiday Party on Friday or Weekend
Many offices close down a day at the office for a staff celebration for the holidays. Holiday parties are amazing, we just had ours in Austin, TX last week.
But, try to have them on a Saturday or Friday when the office is slow. In fact, we've heard stories of companies doing their holiday parties in January. No one is off on vacation, there is no holiday hustle and bustle, and venues are cheaper.
Speaking of Saturdays. Open the office for the morning from 8-12 for the month of December. At 4 patients per hour, that's 48 more patients for the rest of the month.
5) Be open on the week before Christmas and New Year's
The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is a slow week work wise. Many people take vacations, some offices close. Keep the office open. Make sure your patients know about this.
Retailers get 20% of their sales from the holiday season. Practices can boost their revenue 8-15% by taking advantage of the December Dash. It's not too late to act now.