Many primary care physicians are choosing to convert traditional medical practice into a concierge medicine practice. These boutique practices offer many advantages to the care providers and patients, including the ability to reduce overhead expenses, increase time spent with patients, and provide a higher level of preventive care and service to the people in your practice.
At the same time, there are a lot of things that people don’t know about concierge medicine, so attracting patients to your practice means having a well-defined outreach and marketing strategy to educate them about the benefits that private medicine can offer and convince them to join your practice. Here is a framework for developing a solid plan.
Build a Brand
You might not be a marketing professional, but in order to attract patients to your practice it’s important that you create a brand identity that appeals to patients who are looking for a higher level of care from a physician. You may want to hire a marketing firm to help you create a brand and logo, and professional marketing materials that reflect the brand, such as brochures, a website, and business cards.
Educate Potential Patients
Concierge medicine is a fairly new concept for most patients, and many people still don’t know a lot about the benefits of working with a private physician. When you are creating your plan to attract new patients, make sure you provide plenty of education on what concierge medicine offers, and why it is beneficial to all types of patients (not just the wealthy or chronically ill). Have marketing materials prepared that will show potential patients how they might benefit from joining your private medicine practice.
Today most people find the information they need on the internet, which means that in order to attract patients, you should also be online. Create a professional website, keep it updated, start blogging and participating in social media such as Facebook and Twitter (or hire a marketing firm that can help with this), and improve your search engine rankings with proven SEO (search engine optimization) strategies.
Focus on the Right Patients
Not every patient is a good candidate for concierge medicine services, so spend your time and money focusing on the ones that can benefit most from your services. That might include:
- Busy professionals, families, and executives who value their time and will appreciate having quick access to the doctor, same-day appointments, preventive care, and wellness services.
- Senior citizens who generally have more medical needs, and who will enjoy the peace of mind that comes with building a relationship with their doctor and being able to get in touch with you 24/7.
- Patients with chronic conditions who will appreciate a more managed and holistic approach to care, including coordination with specialists and hospitals.
Retain High Value Patients
Collect data on your existing clients and identify the ones that offer high value to your office by paying on time and recommending your practice to others, who are very satisfied with the care you provide, and have been loyal to your practice for many years. As you develop your marketing plan, include a strategy for retaining these patients by showing them how much you value their business, then help them find easy ways to share your business with others through word-of-mouth advertising.
Be Ready to Let Some Patients Go
If you have been working in a traditional medical practice for a while, you probably have a patient load in the thousands. Understand that when you convert to concierge medicine, you are going to have to let some of those patients go (providing a higher level of service is not possible with so many patients). In addition, understand that some of these patients will leave because they don’t want to pay the fees for a private doctor, and that is okay. If you’re prepared to let some clients go, you won’t take it personally when they do.
If this is your first medical practice and you’re planning to start as a concierge doctor, understand that not all patients are going to want to be part of your practice, and that is okay too. Let go of the patients that don’t understand the benefit of what you are offering so you can focus on the patients who will bring value to your practice.