There’s a general rule of thumb floating around that says the more money you make, the more you need. In the field of healthcare, this could be because your overhead increases, you need more staff, or your personal goals have shifted.
Whatever the reason is, if your eyes are set on a promotion and/or more money, you need a strategy to get there.
Earning a promotion or getting paid more isn’t going to happen overnight. But with your eye on the prize, and these seven steps, you will get there!
1. Boost Your Patient Load
Whether you’re in practice for yourself or you are working for someone else, the more patients you can see, the better. The facility doesn’t get paid unless they can bill someone.
There is a lot that goes into treating a patient. You have to review their history, interact with them and listen to their concerns, and examine them. A course of treatment has to be discussed, medications sent out, and paperwork completed.
Rushing any of these steps is dangerous. However, if you learn how to streamline documentation and get familiar with the processes, you can see more patients.
This will make you increasingly valuable. When you run the reports that show what you’re bringing in, you can use those numbers to justify a raise.
2. Research the Billing Side
Most physicians focus on treating patients and let the staff do their job. For the most part, this is fine. When it comes to making money, though, the more you know, the more you can earn.
Allowable procedure codes are always changing. Medicare is usually considered the gold standard. If they allow a code, most insurances follow suit. How much they pay is also copied to some degree.
Work with your billing company or person to find out what codes are allowable in your specialty. Are they procedures you could easily do that would also benefit the patient?
On the other hand, are there treatments you’re doing that aren’t covered and are costing your facility?
3. Find Your Niche
You already have a specialty behind your name. Is there a subspecialty you could learn about that would make you more of an asset to the team?
For instance, general practitioners who have the qualifications to be a nutritionist attract a holistic patient load. Wound care is another common subspecialty many physicians add to their degree.
The more you’re able to do under your license, the more patients you can attract. This, in turn, gives you the upper hand when it’s time to renegotiate your contract.
4. Start Investing
As you invest in your skills to become more valuable, consider investing in your finances, too. The sooner you build a diverse portfolio, the quicker your passive income will begin adding up.
Many financial experts cite passive income as the surest way to economic stability. Talk to an advisor to learn about your options. Let them know your goals for the future. They’ll have suggestions to help you get there.
5. Bump Up Your People Skills
Being amazing at your job isn’t enough if your patients and colleagues don’t like you. Some people are naturally friendly and sociable, while others have to work at it.
If you’re one of the latter, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. You may not have the innate interpersonal skills some people seem to come by naturally. However, as a physician, that bedside manner is essential to your value.
When you have the right mix of knowledge and compassion, people will flock to you for their care. Bumping up your people skills is a valuable investment that will help you professionally and personally.
6. Consider Your Contract
With all of these smart steps under your belt, renegotiating your contract is the next step.
You have the skills to prove you are worth the money. You are bringing in more patients and boosting your numbers. It’s time for your contract to reflect your worth.
A higher salary isn’t the only way to make more money. It might be more beneficial for you to ask for a better schedule, more PTO, or increase your insurance benefits.
As you renegotiate your contract’s terms, check over all the perks available to you and make the most of them.
7. Get More Education
When you chose your speciality, you probably did so based on something you were really interested in at the time. Maybe that interest has changed or it doesn’t pay as well as you thought it would.
Going back to school for another degree can be time-consuming, but is it worth it?
Consider the math if you did a residency or a fellowship to add a specialty to your degree. Which physicians make the most money? Is that a field you’re interested in?
Yes, you may have to take off from your current job to go back to school. But would the year or two of sacrifice and hard work pay off with decades of more money and a better schedule?
The hectic pace and high pressure of a physician’s job is balanced out by the difference you can make in the world. But getting paid what you’re worth is an important part, too.
With these seven steps, you’ll build your skills and value. The next time you head into a contract negotiation, there will be a lot more money on the table!