Patient Acquisition Plan for Medical Practices
There are 6 type of patients who add value to your medical practice. Focus on these patients to build a loyal base of patients and your brand ambassadors.
A successful medical practice is built by maintaining and growing your patient base. Every patient that walks through your doors is critical and will surely be given the best medical treatment your clinic can provide. However, the most valuable patients are the ones who can help your medical practice grow. There are several types of patients you should try to acquire as you build your practice. Focus on these patients, and you’ll have an easier time maintaining and increasing your patient count.
No 1. Patients Who Are Respectful To Your Staff
If your patients are the lifeblood of your clinic, then your staff are the bones. Like any doctor or an owner of medical practice, you know how stressful running your business can be. This stress isn’t exclusive to you, and your staff experiences many of the same stresses you experience. Patients who are respectful to your team will not only make their jobs easier but also reduce staff turnover. It is hard to build your practice when you are always training new staff members. Patients who treat your staff with respect will keep your team happy, and they will go the extra mile to help your patients. If you come across a rude patient, support your staff if their complaint is invalid.
No 2. Patients Who Are Happy With Your Services and Care You Provide
These patients are easy to find if you already provide exceptional care! However, be mindful that you and your staff are not only doing the “bare minimum” to address the medical concerns of your patients. You stand a higher chance of having your patients leave your practice happy if they perceive you and your staff having gone the extra mile for their care. This often includes addressing all of their concerns, being available to answer any questions, and thoroughly explaining any test results or diagnosis. Often, patients will want to discuss their concerns but will be woefully uninformed about their medical issue. Doctors who take time to listen and respectfully answer patients’ concerns and questions patiently will make them feel like they have been heard. Patients who think they are ignored despite getting your best treatment will not leave your clinic happy.
No 3. Patients Willing To Pay Full Price
Your medical practice is not a car dealership. You should not spend time haggling with patients to lower their overall medical bills. The costs of operating your medical practice are fixed, and in many cases, there isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to making a profit. You are not going to haggle with medical supply companies or the landlord. You must have patients who are willing to pay full price, or it will be challenging to keep your medical practice in business. Typically, if you have patients who have insurance, the insurance company will take care of most of the payment required for your services. Usually, patients are responsible for a co-pay or co-insurance. While only a small portion of the total cost of your services, it is still important to collect this fee. Those add up quickly if you have patients who are delinquent when paying for your services. Payment is even more critical if you accept patients without insurance and must pay full price. Avoid having to track down patients or sending their bills to collections by finding patients who are willing to pay full price.
No 4. Patients Who Pay On Time
Related to the previous group of patients, it’s important to have patients who pay for their services promptly. Again, you and your staff waste time by tracking down late payments, even if they do pay in full. Delayed payments make budgeting and accounting difficult. The less outstanding payments for services you have, the easier it will be to run your medical practice and will not give your bookkeeper gray hair.
No 5. Patients Who Refer Others To Your Medical Practice
These are the most valuable patients you can have at your medical practice. You likely have a marketing budget advertising your services and medical practice. These expenses can include online digital marketing, print advertising, and direct mail marketing. All of these cost money to be effective. A referral to your office from another patient is very cost effective: It does not cost you a dime. Often, a personal recommendation from a friend or family member is just as if not more powerful than the slickest marketing effort.
A patient who will refer others to your practice should be treated as an asset. Tag those referred patients to make sure they receive extra attention, so they are happy with their services. If a referred patient leaves your medical practice happy, that feedback will make it back to the referrer who will go on referring patients to your practice. If the patient has a bad experience, it will likely cause some embarrassment, and then that patient will cease referring patients to your practice.
Establish a referral program that rewards and encourages your patients to refer others to your business. If you can support these patients, this could be a useful source of new and valuable patients
No 6. Patients Who Select Your Medical Practice For Their Healthcare Needs
New patients in your practice are precious. Assuming they are not just passing through your town on vacation or for a business trip, they likely live in your area. If you can provide service to them that is top-notch, they will return, becoming a new revenue stream to your practice. With that in mind, patients who are visiting your clinic for the first time must be treated carefully.
Ensure that the patient intake procedure at your clinic is smooth, straight forward, and requires as little paperwork as possible. Review the paperwork you require and review with your staff about how they handle new patients. Avoiding confusion and excessive paperwork will make an excellent first impression for any new patient.
Patients who have chosen your medical practice for their healthcare needs have likely done their research. Instead of picking your name out of a hat, they have read reviews, looked at your competitors, and have thought about their ultimate choice. If you provide a patient with a service that meets and exceeds their expectations, there is a high chance they will become a regular patient.
Your patient base must be cultivated and maintained carefully. It isn’t enough just to keep a patient base stable. You need to continue to grow your patient base and seek out valuable patients before your competitors can scoop them up. Look for these patients, and you have a greater chance of being successful.