QUESTION 1: “Why does outpatient wound care need so much community education when none of our other service lines do? Can’t we just use hospital physician liaisons?”
- PCPs (and others) often think they can manage wounds on their own. They have just enough knowledge to maintain things, and they are afraid If they send a patient to wound care they’ll lose control. They don’t think that way if a patient needs heart surgery, but wound care? Surely that’s in their scope. You have to build good relationships for them to understand wound care is a specialty.
- For HBO referrals, some of the approved indications aren’t that common. A hospital liaison showing up annually to promote HBO will miss opportunities.
- Hospitals don’t promote wound care regularly. Providers forget the service line exists. Many times doctors who work in the hospital don’t realize the facility has an outpatient wound care program.
Outpatient wound care is a volume driven service line. It’s not “build it and they will come” – you have to have an aggressive growth plan to make it financially viable.
QUESTION 2: “Is it okay to have wound care without hyperbaric medicine?”
Yes, but keep reading. Hospital leaders who ask this question are usually concerned about one or more of these factors:
- ROI due to the high cost of building the hyperbaric oxygen suite
- The concern of insurance approval for the treatment
- Low percentage of wound care patients converting to hyperbarics overall
- A perceived uncertain future of the modality
- Questions regarding efficacy
If you are concerned about the sustainability of hyperbarics, it’s okay to start with only wound care and let your community prove the need for hyperbarics in the future.
QUESTION 3: “Should you build ancillary revenue into your outpatient wound care proforma?”
Short answer: No!
A wound care program (with or without hyperbarics) should be self-sustainable. If you need spinoff revenue to make a profit, like:
- Outpatient ancillary revenue,
- Medical admissions revenue,
- Inpatient spinoff revenue, or
- Cellular tissue product revenue…
this means you don’t have a sustainable model.
Keep your proforma realistic and simple – if someone else is providing you with a proforma, ask for all of the “extras” to be removed.
As the nations’ leading consulting firm, we are dedicated to building sustainable wound care programs. If you have questions that need answers, email firstname.lastname@example.org.