Get Rid of Your Dead Wood

“If you contact me again, I’m going to call the police.”


That’s what one patient on my panel once told me when I tried to get him in for his yearly visit.


I knew from my sources in the community that for some reason—probably a good one—he absolutely despised me, yet he stayed on my panel year and year. And when he did get sick it was me he wanted to see.


I practiced in a satellite clinic in a small town and didn’t think I had the ethical luxury of firing patients. My partners didn’t have such qualms.



If the patient didn’t come in once a year, they got fired for non-compliance.



It was this policy, more than any other, that allowed them to generate superior financial performance.



Today it’s much harder to get your insurer to fire your patients. They prefer the non-compliant warm body to one that’s not enrolled in their plan at all. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.



The key to Medicare Advantage success is to get ahead of the medical expenses of your patient. Getting them in when they are relatively healthy and buffing your revenue stream with great data submission in anticipation of the days of ill health ahead.



If they won’t come in, you can’t succeed.



If they have access to other care—contact your insurance partner and try to fire them.



And keep on trying until you succeed.



Making sure they hold up their end of the bargain is the only way to ensure you’ll do really well.