Always wondering about ways to improve your midwifery business cash flow, but don’t want to take on more clients or increase the price for your services? Buying in bulk is a great way to save money in the long run. It will cost you more initially. With items that are used regularly or don’t expire for a really long time, buying in bulk has many great advantages if you have the storage space and good organizational skills. The last thing you want to do is run out of office space or re-order something no one can find in your storage room. Keeping good track of inventory and how often items are used will really help determine which medications, supplies, or equipment should be bulk ordered. If you place a weekly order of the same items, same the administration time of placing auto-renewals and higher quantities for lower individual prices. Many merchants will negotiate with you on price if you buy more or lots from them regularly.
If insurance companies are paying you the same rate for care and supplies used whether you pay retail or bulk price for inventory, stretch your dollars with higher volumes during each purchase. Even if you are running a smaller practice, you can join with other midwives in area to buy inventory together. I have seen some amazing power of relationships and midwife community strength with bulk buying. There is a monthly buying order, midwives will have one person delegated to order supplies and email a group chain their specific item request. If there isn’t enough to do a bulk order this month, another midwife with “extra” of that specific supply will sell to other midwives’ wholesale desired item. No midwife runs out of supplies or needs to buy one or two of an item for retail price.
I have seen it other way where one larger midwifery practice buys all the supplies for community midwives at high volume. She then charges a rate for the individual price point and a small processing fee to cover her time grabbing supplies from a storage room. This works great for nonperishable items like gloves, pads, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, lubricant, and office supplies.
Medications are great with this bulk buying concept too. If someone has medications getting close to expiring and know won’t get used in next month, group email to midwife community allows a “trade” with someone else in area that will definitely use it soon. It will drastically cut your expense from wastes down from overhead revenue. Many companies will give free shipping when large enough order is placed. That will save everyone the unnecessary shipping fees. Many places won’t allow a small midwifery practice to order one vial a pitocin. It usually comes in packages of twenty five. Most practices will not use all vials before they expire. If there is a group of midwives buying together, supply is split into much smaller management quantities.
I have seen huge saving on cash lab costs if practice pays the monthly tab directly to the lab company versus sending invoice to the patient. I have used Lab Corp in the past and collected cash rate when draw was completed for the Amish and Mennonite community at home. They didn’t have to drive anywhere, costs were kept as low as possible for desired lab testings, and volume of clients made costs lower to everyone. Helping to keep health care affordable was a big mission of my practice to the community, not just the clients I had in the practice. I would offer this cash rate to other alternative practices in area (midwives and providers alike). We had lab draw open time slots weekly that outside clinics could have patients come with lab order and pay fraction of costs than hospital lab fees. Results went to ordering provider and our office charged a small lab fee for Medical Assistants time drawing and processing labs to be sent out. It was a great marketing technique to have other offices refer clients to me and I drew labs for many families that referred their newly pregnant daughter or grand-daughters to our practice.
Insurance reimbursement for vaccinations and IUDs like Paragards and Mirenas is minimal. If a midwife would buy this supply one at a time, most insurance companies would even reimbursement for original purchase price of that item! Once you start buying more five, especially ten of these items, price really goes down per item. Now you can by like the big hospital systems that make big bucks off vaccinations and medications because of the bulk buying discount. Don’t refer your client to a OB office for IUD insertion, because you lose money offer this service to your women. We need to as midwives keep up with ever changing, expensive health care system. If we can keep our costs low, high quality, and profitable, that is a BIG WIN TO ME! Join with your fellow midwives and group administration resources in the background while keeping business brand small and private to the community.