Whether you are a young physician just striking it out on your own in private practice or are a seasoned GP seeking to build a larger patient base, you may be wondering just how to accomplish this. Yes, there is a shortage of qualified medical professionals but this doesn’t always mean that every doctor has too many patients to handle.
In fact, many doctors have too much ‘down time’ on their hands so they are seeking ways to actively grow their practices. Attracting new patients in the 21st Century is not quite as simple as it once was but since we live in a digital age, with the right set of ‘tools’ you can soon rank among the elite who can honestly say they have too many to care for adequately. Here’s how.
1. Reconsider Accepting Medicare/Medicaid Patients
It is no secret that Medicare and Medicaid make it really difficult for doctors to get paid. There are so many conditions which must be met, billing codes that need to be exact and then there is the fact that it is necessary to wait extremely long periods of time before payments are issued to your practice. Keep in mind that this is a government entity that is notoriously slow at doing anything whatsoever, especially paying bills!
If you want to grow your business, consider all those boomers who now are of retirement age and have Medicare as their primary insurance. If you are leery of becoming a Medicare participant, there are always companies like Financial Recovery Group that specialize in helping you recover payments from CMS and can also help to develop financial management strategies. With professional advisors and outsourced recovery groups out there, it is no longer necessary to fear whether or not you will be paid for Medicare services rendered.
2. Understand that Doctors Need to Build Brand Too
One of the most effective ways to build a stronger client base is to build brand for your medical practice. Building brand is so much more than merely advertising your specialty, however. Every doctor has a strength that keeps patients coming back month after month, year after year and that is what you need to promote as your ‘brand.’ Perhaps you offer classes in nutrition, free of charge, to help your patients learn healthier lifestyles. Your brand would build on empowering patients to be proactive in their healthcare by eating and living healthier.
3. Get with the Times – Encourage the Use of Healthcare Apps
Speaking of empowering patients to be proactive in their own healthcare, what about all those healthcare apps that patients can utilize on their cell phones? This is a new and emerging niche within the healthcare industry and one that enables patients to play an active role in their healthcare plan. Whether they have diabetes and need a glucose monitor or insulin reminder alarms, all can be accessed via their smartphones and a great way to help them manage their own care. This will build loyalty to your practice because any time you empower an individual you are stating your faith in them and their abilities.
This is a new generation and today’s patients have a desire to be treated with dignity and respect like in days of old. No, most doctors cannot make house calls any more but they certainly can instill a sense of loyalty in those they treat. If you are looking to grow your practice, get with the times! This is a new day and a new age but by giving your patients what they truly need, they will trust you to have their best interests at heart. And, that’s what it takes to grow a practice – trust and loyalty.