Practice Medicine Like a Business

I realized that I could help more people if I practiced medicine a LITTLE BIT more like a business.  Not to lose the heart and soul and become a greedy business person, but to have a balance of common sense, WIN-WIN business practices as well as the heart of a healer.

Just taking what I do best (helping patients), be a little bit more organized about it, figure out the BEST way to help people, the BEST way to educate them, the BEST way to increase compliance, the BEST way to increase the number of people I can help.

We all have realized that giving it all away doesn't bring people in.  People value something (your time) a lot more if YOU value it. They also want a good deal, but do realize that a low price often means low quality.  So there are methods to express QUALITY as well as VALUE. I work more efficiently, using more handouts and forms so that I can see many more people in a day and yet still give them incredible care where I take the time to really listen and think about what they need. I also pace myself and don’t try to fix everything in one visit.  Don’t forget we get approached with multiple conditions in a visit most times, whereas MDs only have to treat one.   Trying to treat 3-6 conditions at a time though is overwhelming financially, emotionally and time wise.  I find it’s best to treat 1-2 conditions at a time, letting them know this is what you are going to do, pick the core conditions.

So, being more efficient, giving them better services and great products, keeping them motivated and engaged, saves you time and helps them more.

Phase One:

  1. With my help, Develop your own Brand of products.
  2. Use MOSTLY (not necessarily all) supplements/natural medicines that:
    1. Are exclusive (patients can’t get elsewhere).
    2. Are unique.
    3. You make a good markup on.

      THIS is ESPECIALLY important for maintenance supplements.  Supplements like fish oil, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and probiotics (or whatever supplements you would consider to be maintenance). Don’t forget however that it is important that THEY also believe they are, or they will go and buy what THEY think (unless you educate them).  Remember you are competing with TV and magazines who are trying to sell your patients on many of these types of supplements. And it is much better that they get a good, safe, clean source.  And even better that YOU make the profit from them, rather than some huge corporation who heavily market to these people.

      Specific formulas for specific conditions are not as much an issue as they may not be on these for long periods of time.

  1. Market your brand to your patients, and indirectly to their friends and families.
  1. Create membership programs. People LOVE to belong. Think Costco, BJs etc.

    You can include things that you already give away. We have been doing this for many years.  People buy our plans because they want the deals.  Then they buy from us because they want to take advantage of their plans.  Almost ALL my patients are on plans.  And they give you an opportunity to market programs that you offer.

    Premium Access Program:  Includes Priority Scheduling, Email access to the doctor & Extended scheduling hours.

    20% off Supplements* (estimated savings $200/year)
    20% off Detox Programs (estimated savings $750/year)
    20% off Yearly Prevention Screenings (estimated savings $50/year)
    20% off Therapies (estimated savings $200/year)
    20% off (Cash Pay) Office Visits (estimated savings $200/year)

    What we do is, when checking out the patient, add up the cost, then explain the plan, explain that it is optional but that it will save them in the long run.  Have a membership brochure. Make the cost for the plan reasonable, but make sure it is easy to see how they can save.  Show the savings.

  1. Offer a different membership plan to help retain old patients. You have to give patients that gradually become healthier an incentive to keep buying from you for their maintenance needs. This could be a special offer you give to patients once they are stable and you push your follow-ups to every 6 months or every year depending on how you practice.