In these busy times, it’s no surprise that the patient-doctor relationship has eroded. Increased productivity requirements have shortened the amount of time you have to spend with each patient so many physicians are opting to communicate with patients via email.
Depending on your specialty, there are times during the year when you’ll inevitably experience a decrease in business. It’s normal to experience the annual ebb and flow of patients but you may be experiencing slower times than usual given the economy.
You can certainly augment your marketing efforts through emails or newsletters and you can send out reminder postcards to be sure that you’re capturing annual visits. These can both be effective for increasing your daily patient count but let’s talk about a way to be more proactive without investing any money and that’s through maximizing your current patients.
The last few years have seen a rise in office co-pays, with some going as high as $40. Patients silently express their frustration with this by bucking the system and self-diagnosing their illnesses. They take the $40 in healthcare dollars that they would have spent at a physician’s office and hand it over to Walgreen’s and other drugstores with the hopes that the over-the-counter “weekly special” will cure them.
How can you get your patients to transfer those dollars back to you?
Doctors don’t like insurance companies. They generally accuse insurance companies of eroding their autonomy, unnecessarily increasing red tape and continually assaulting their incomes. The question must be asked, however, how did doctors ever get themselves in this position and more importantly, how do they get themselves out of it? It’s not difficult to understand how doctors got trapped into their predicament. It IS difficult, however, to understand why doctors continue to enslave themselves to their insurance company masters.