e3Business does not subscribe to the theory that there is one static practice model for all functional medicine practices. Providers have to explore the potential revenue streams, patient demographics, competing providers, vendors and opportunities of their target market, analyze this information and then customize their practice for optimal performance.

e3Business offers the following three management tips for functional medicine providers to consider when structuring or managing their practice:

  1. Scope of Services. Functional medicine providers have a tendency to promote the full scope of functional medicine services, but doing so may dilute or obscure the services the provider really wants to emphasize and may give patients the impression that the provider is a jack of all trades but a master of none. e3Business believes that emphasizing a few key functional medicine applications allows functional medicine providers to differentiate themselves in the medical market.
  2. Ancillary Services. Just as functional medicine providers may be too broad in focusing their services, functional medicine providers may also be tempted to incorporate many of the possible ancillary services functional medicine supports. Functional medicine practices will be confronted with a host of specialty labs, testing equipment and treatment devices that will all promise to support patient care while adding revenue. Considering the uncertainty surrounding the practice of functional medicine presented in “Practice Challenges,” providers should approach all potential ancillary services with caution.  
  3. Supplements. Functional medicine providers will want to provide patients access to the supplements necessary to implement functional medicine, but they need to be aware of the variety of methods available for offering supplements. Unless prohibited by state medical regulations, supplements can be sold in the practice. There are multiple options for online supplement sales, including the practice web site, a practice branded third party website and third party websites. Most supplement manufacturers will allow practices to private label supplements if the practice meets the required order volume. Each of these options have pros and cons that need to be evaluated.

Just as functional medicine takes a systemic approach to health, e3Business takes a systemic approach to practice management, These three tips are just a couple of the common issues that functional medicine providers have to address to practice functional medicine. The decisions made on these issues–and all other management issues–will have an impact on every aspect of the practice. Marketing a full list of provider services may commit the practice to acquiring equipment that is on ongoing expense. Patients may not purchase as many supplements if they are paying a cost to access ancillary services. This is why e3Business places such a premium on making sound decisions.