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Medical and dental groups expect revenue growth

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By Kathy Canavan

Health providers are bullish about the future, according to a new study from Citizens Bank.

Nearly three-quarters of dental practices surveyed for the 2015 Citizens Bank Healthcare Outloo, expect increased revenue over the next five years. About 37 percent of medical practices do too.

Half of all dental and medical practitioners say even if business is flat they will focus on increasing profitability by attracting new patients and by managing cash flow.

The survey included 450 medical and dental practice groups with fewer than 10 doctors or dentists and revenue between $500,000 and $5 million.

“In addition to the critical roles they play in providing health care services, independent medical and dental practice groups run very sophisticated businesses with complicated cash flow dynamics and a lot of opportunities to either get it right or get it wrong when it comes to managing the bottom line,” said Lisa Enright, senior vice president and director of the HealthCare Practice Banking Group at Citizens Bank. “This research shows that, as they grapple with changing regulations, challenging insurance payment plans and advances in technology, medical and dental practices also are increasing their focus on operational excellence and strategies for profitability. Whatever their prospects for top-line revenue growth, healthcare providers increasingly recognize the importance of sharpening their focus on financial management.”

According to the survey, maximizing revenue, acquiring new patients and improving operational efficiency and profit margins are at the top of the practitioners’ lists of objectives.

Dental practice leaders attributed their optimism to growing demand for their services – 92 percent of respondents said there is “high demand for the type of dental service my practice offers.

Medical practice leaders noted a variety of headwinds, with 60 percent citing lower levels of reimbursement from insurance companies. Still, 51 percent said they will aim to increase profitability by focusing more on patient acquisition and cash flow management.

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