9 Steps for Marketing Physician Independence

Physician Independence

For physicians and groups who want to remain independent, marketing physician independence benefits to patients and other physicians is essential, not optional.

The Challenge To Remain Independent

Everyone knows how challenging it is these days for primary care physicians and many specialists to remain both independent and competitive. Unless you provide only cash-based services or opt out entirely from insurance participation, there are many forces that challenge physician independence, including

  • increasing regulations (MACRA and MIPS to name only two)
  • value-based and bundled payment models
  • ACOs
  • insurance reimbursement negotiations
  • EMR
  • and the list goes on and on

Why Should Patients or Physicians Care If You Are Independent

You have your own valid reasons for remaining independent. But as far as patients and other healthcare providers are concerned, you have to communicate what’s in it for them to care whether or not you are independent.

9 Steps for Marketing Physician Independence

Step 1: Make A List

Make a list of all the reasons why you want to remain independent. Then eliminate any reasons that are not a direct benefit to patients and referring physicians.

Step 2: Independence Mission Statement

Create a mission statement about your commitment and reasons for remaining independent.

Step 3: Landing Page

Add a landing page to your website specific to the benefits to patients and physicians of your reasons for remaining independent. Include your mission statement but also include a specific list of benefits for patients and another list for referring physicians.

Step 4: Organization Buy-In

Get your organization on board with the mission. Have a team meeting to explain the commitment and invite ideas from your staff regarding ways to illustrate and communicate the benefit of your commitment to your patients. If you want to take it to another level, form a committee that includes some physicians and staff members to continually identify more communication strategies and “walk your talk” strategies.

Step 5: Patient Emails

Create and send a series of emails to patients pertaining to the benefits to them of your independence. Highlight one benefit per email. Send sequentially spaced 30 days apart.

Step 6: In-Office Signage and Handouts

Create and produce a large framed poster and/or handout flyer about your commitment to remaining independent and why that’s good for your patients. Feature the poster in a prominent location (such as the reception area). Feature handouts in each exam room.

Step 7: Video

Create a short video about your practice commitment to patients to remain independent and why it should matter to them. Feature the video on your website and also post your video on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to optimize your video for search engines.

Step 8: Social Media

In addition to social media for your video, write and post articles about this topic on all of your social media platforms. Again, optimize for search engines.

Step 9: Letter to Referring Physicians

Create a letter to all of your referring physicians to present this topic and emphasize the benefits to the physician and to their patients. If you employ a physician liaison, have them deliver the letter in person on their next visit. If you don’t have a physician liaison, mail the letter.

If You Need Help Implementing Your Program

If you feel that you may need help in organizing and implementing this program or just want to brainstorm additional ideas based on your own practice, call Lonnie at 800-924-5447 or Email me here.

About Lonnie Hirsch

Lonnie Hirsch, Founder and CEO of Hirsch Healthcare Consulting is one of the premier consultants and strategists for helping medical practices and hospitals across the U.S. and in other countries achieve profitable top line and bottom line growth.

Over a career spanning thirty years, Lonnie has worked with thousands of medical practices as well as hospitals, health systems, medical device companies, medical software companies and other healthcare businesses.

Lonnie has spoken at hundreds of healthcare conferences and has authored numerous articles in healthcare business publications. He has also interviewed many distinguished thought leaders in the field of medicine.

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