Generating Additional Revenue: Physicians

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Physicians - Side Hustles

Five additional side hustles that are related to patients that physicians can do to earn extra revenue include on-demand physician visits, developing a mobile application, taking advantage of Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) to market and ship products to patients, self-publishing books, and offering ancillary services.

On-Demand Physician Visits

  • One side hustle related to patients that physicians can do to earn extra revenue/income is to offer on-demand visits throughout the week. In this situation, patients schedule a home appointment/visit through an application, website, or internet solution.
  • Mobile applications such as Heal allow qualified physicians to provide medical care to patients within the comfort of the patient's residence. Since its inception, Heal has completed approximately 150,000 different house calls.
  • Other applications such as Pager allow physicians to talk to patients to assist them in making quick, well-informed decisions regarding their health or suggest that they visit a hospital or clinic.
  • These services offered through an application can be paid for by the patient for specified amounts or they could be covered through their healthcare provider. For instance, Heal accepts various insurance plans from Aetna, United Healthcare, Humana, Cigna, Medicare, among many others, but patients can pay about $159 for services.

Develop A Mobile Application

  • Physicians could also develop a medical mobile application to assist patients. There are several solutions available that can help physicians in creating such an app, including BuildFire and iBuildApp.
  • Patients/consumers have taken an interest in utilizing mHealth apps in recent years. According to BusinessofApps, there were around 3.7 billion mHealth app downloads globally in the year 2017.
  • Physicians or the institute they work for could create apps that are designed to help patients track their physical activities, manage their medicine regimen, obtain nutritional advice, communicate with doctors, maintain online medical records, receive alerts for prescription refills, offer opinions based on data, among many other features.
  • These medical apps can be offered by physicians or medical institutions for an established hourly price. However, many receive their revenue through "prepaid service subscriptions." Additionally, physicians can allow advertisements to run on their applications, which helps to monetize them.

Amazon FBA

  • Fulfillment by Amazon (Amazon FBA) could permit physicians to market any of their products on the platform, but Amazon fulfills any order. These products are stored at Amazon's warehouses are shipped to customers/patients whenever they place an order.
  • Physicians or the medical institutes employing them, who would act as sellers, could witness their sales increase by 30% to 50% through Amazon FBA. However, they will be required to pay FBA fees (for storage and fulfillment), which are based on both the number and size of products the physicians wish to store at Amazon's warehouses.
  • A significant advantage is that the seller (the physician) is given the option of managing the packaging and shipping of their product, as well as any customer care requirements, if they do not wish to sell their products on Amazon through FBA.
  • Theoretically, a physician can recommend a product either through their medical institute's website/mobile application or one that they developed themselves, and link it to Amazon FBA so that the patient can order it.

Self-Publish Books

  • Another side hustle related to patients that physicians can do to earn extra revenue is to offer them self-published books/ebooks. CNN revealed a list of the top health queries on Google for the year 2018. These included topics such as the keto diet, ALS, endometriosis, the flu, implantation bleeding, high blood pressure, etc.
  • Physicians could write books/ebooks of various lengths surrounding these topics or questions they frequently encounter while helping their patients and recommend them through their website or mobile application.
  • One platform that physicians could use to publish their books is Kindle Direct Publishing. Books that are self-published account for about 31% of all ebook purchases through the Amazon Kindle Store.
  • Through Kindle Direct Publishing, physicians could earn a maximum of 70% royalty for any book/ebook sales to purchasers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, Italy, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, etc. They can also publish books in both print and digital versions for free and establish their own list prices, while maintaining their rights.

Offer Ancillary Services

  • Physicians can also offer ancillary services to their patients. Ancillary services can include acting as a massage therapist, providing personalized medicine using comprehensive labs, point-of-care labs, offering spirometry, electrocardiogram (ECG), etc.
  • They can also develop customized wellness plans for any of their patients.
  • Typically, the medical institute implements ancillary services into their business, but physicians can do them on their own.
  • The cost of providing ancillary services varies (equipment costs). However, physicians and their practices can analyze "the return on investment in terms of patient volume." According to PhysicianSense, many patients are willing to pay a premium for such services, while physicians are still allowed to bill insurance.