Advanced Medical Practice Business and Marketing Ezine -- May 2015

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Marketing Profitability Strategies"

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fast and efficiently using the proven marketing tools!

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Are you losing your private medical practice because you can’t earn enough to keep it open? If so, it’s because you have never
had a formal business education!  “They” taught you how to practice medicine, but not how to run a business let alone a profitable one.

We are talking about OFFENSIVE actions,
not Defensive actions.

  You learn these simple business lessons and advice
 on this site! 

Article #65 - May. 2015


“How to find an extra million
dollars in your medical practice business”

There will be follow-up… increased follow-up… and
excessive degrees of follow-up in my medical practice.

     The greatest mistake being made today in all businesses, especially in medical practice businesses, is the failure to follow-up on every opportunity to capitalize on each and
every contact with your medical office.

     Misguided by lack of a business education, most physicians find it difficult to believe that close follow-up on potential new patients is a waste of time… even worse, not profitable.

     Literally hundreds of studies have documented the profitability of a regimented follow-up program for leads for recruiting clients, patients, and customers. For any physician to accept and implement such a program in their practice business requires the use of another principle that all physicians know quite well… the practice of evidence
based medicine.

     If it’s evidence based, then it must be something worth strong consideration, not a casual glance and ignored. Logically, any physician that accepts evidence based medicine as the highest standard of medical care, then it should not be difficult for them to accept other evidence based business
facts and studies amassed under the same rigid compliance.

     Physicians that use the results of evidence-based
medicine don’t go back and read the full medical literature
on a topic before applying it to their medical practice. Neither do smart businesspersons have to confirm for themselves
that business-marketing studies are legitimate before accepting and applying them.
 
    
Business owners need to plug the holes in their buckets

     The biggest hole in the financial bucket found most often
in private medical practice is the nearly universal finding that follow-up is essentially absent. Patients see your yellow-page ad, your office signs, find your site online, visit your place of business, ask your receptionist or staff questions, and
that’s it.
 
     There’s no capture of the prospects name, physical
address, email address, nor any effort to provide them more information, a free report, a discount coupon for something, and which you can use to maintain some interaction with the person. The waste is criminal. Do you permit such waste to
go on in your practice business?

     You don’t just pay for the patients you gain through your advertising and marketing. You pay a price for every call, every walk-in and other patient contact. Doing nothing with
a potential patient is like flushing money down the toilet.
Say you invest $1,000 in an ad campaign and you get 50
phone calls.

     You bought each call for $20. If you ignore one call completely you have intentionally thrown away $20. That
may not impress you but those of us who were from poor families know what it would feel like to stand over a paper basket and slowly tear a $20 bill into tiny pieces.

     The business lesson here is clear. When you fail to thoroughly follow-up on a lead or customer or patient, you
are intentionally sabotaging the financial security of your practice business. You know what a smart business person needs to do and you don’t do it.
 

Could you use an extra million bucks?     

     If in doubt, ask your wife and kids about it. The extra million is hidden inside your business. It’s in the follow-up
that isn’t happening.

     Very often slothful business owners look at only the small profitability of their marketing activities… spend $1,000 to
get 50 calls, convert only 5 to appointments, and acquire
only 2 as customers, but are worth $1,000 each in income
for your practice. Small thinkers are happy with that.
 
     The other side of the situation shows 45 that didn’t turn into appointments. The total reality is far worse than that. If, with aggressive and diligent follow-up of the 45, another 5 appointments and 2 customers could be had with some effort being made to get them, instead of being lost out the hole in your bucket.

     Even better, if each new patient referred one new patient, an endless chain of new patient referrals could be had. And, the potential waste to your practice income is increased to $10,900 that you could have had. Let that happen once a month and $109,000.00 slips out the hole in the bucket onto the floor.

     In the experience of most business and marketing consultants, over a ten year period of any small business
there is at least one million dollars in lost money to be had.
It’s not hidden money, just money that is never recognized
as being available… call it the value of every physician having some business and marketing knowledge to begin with.


Where are some of the holes in your financial bucket through which your money leaks?

  1. The person who calls you and asks questions, stays unknown, and gets no follow-up… a widespread
    infection found throughout medical practices today.
  2. No significant follow-up on leads obtained at
    conventions, trade shows, or consumer shows…
    vendors are still ignorant about the financial
    advantages of good follow-up.
  3. Patient referrals with no follow-up… the forgotten
    value of saying “thank you for referring ______”.
  4. Lack of instant follow-up to new patients… lack of
    making any new patient feel welcome, important,
    thanked, brought back.
  5. No prevention of, or rescue attempts made to regain
    lost patients… interestingly, 30 years of surveys
    have consistently revealed “indifference by provider”
    as, by far, the #1 reason patients leave a medical practice… not because of incompetence, negligence,
    insult, lower fees, etc.
     

What are good follow-up processes for physicians to use?

     There are hundreds of templates and variations of the follow-up processes used in small businesses. For medical practices the usual commercial business methods for
follow-up have to be modified to avoid liability, misinterpretations, revealing private medical information, while maintaining rapport and relationships.

     The follow-up procedures we are discussing today are
those related to your efforts to increase your patient flow, recruit new patients, and increase your medical practice income. In most cases your intention is to magnify the
results and efficiency of your efforts.

     The problem is that doctors are not familiar with many
of the commonly used methods that commercial businesses
use to increase profits which are the same ones, done for the same reasons, and create the same results every physician
in private medical practice seeks.

     Doctors and other professionals tend to either be ignorant of or never recognize the exceptional profit-potential of marketing to their practices, even though they experience every day of their lives examples of the marketing process directly influencing the decisions of people in
remarkable ways.
 

Proven advantages that good follow-up offers
for maintenance of your medical practice…

  1. Securing the contact information of every individual that calls your office provides the opportunity and permission for you to directly interact with that person
    in the future.

         The real value stems from the fact that the person
    that called your office felt that your responses to their needs would help them. You already had credibility in
    the eyes of the potential patient.

         Secondly, the fact that the person took action and called your office to begin with tells you that they have
    a need and are ready to make a decision about who
    they want to fill that need.

         Every personal phone call from a new potential
    patient is often disguised by asking for information,
    while the real reason for the call is to get a sense about whether to go ahead and make an appointment
    with you.
     
         That decision is made only after seeing the way your office responds to their inquiry. Were they put on hold
    for 15 minutes? Was the staffer helpful, courteous,
    friendly and not in a hurry? Was there a sense that the staffer cared about helping the potential patient with
    their problem?

         If the office person took the time to get the caller’s contact information, then it implies that the caller is important to them right from the start. Teach your
    office staff to answer the phone with the attitude that every call is a new potential patient needing an appointment. The mental “positioning” allows for a
    much more friendly response by the staffer than it
    might otherwise be.
  2. The patient has opened the door for you to communicate with them in unlimited ways. The amount
    of contact information you require is critical to avoid offending a new patient.
     
         Most new patients are used to providing their full
    name, home address, and phone number. When you
    ask for more information at the time of the first contact
    it can offend the person for privacy reasons. “Why do
    you need all that info?”

         Studies have shown that the best response on first contact is to get the minimum contact information…
    full name and physical address. Other more extensive information can be easily obtained with much less resistance on the next office visit, because there has already been a bit of trust established on the
    first contact.

         Today the cell phone number and email address are usual correspondence methods. After obtaining the
    initial contact information and more information is
    needed, there’s a pleasant means to obtain additional information without offending the new patient.

         Psychological research by Dr. Cialdini has
    demonstrated that a person is much more likely to
    respond positively when asked for a favor or to do something for someone if they are given a reason for
    doing it by the person asking for the favor. The reason “content” seems irrelevant to the person’s willingness
    to comply.

         All a staff member needs to do is give the person a reason why they are asking for additional data. “We
    find that most of our patients use email. If you have
    an email address and would like to provide it, we can
    get your test results to you faster than by phone.”
     
         Follow-up is an open door. One fact about
    relationships you want to build requires that there be
    a frequent communication or interaction. Like
    everyone, over time we forget things. Patients forget appointments, annual check-ups, and the last time
    they were seen.
     
         Maintenance of your presence in the minds of your patients over time increases loyalty, trust, referrals
    and retention of patients. You do that by sending
    holiday greetings, birthday cards, reminders of appointments, and even celebrations you have planned
    for patients.

         My OBG friend has a large all-day party for all his
    IVF patients once a year… for celebration of successful outcomes and for promotion of his practice. Anytime
    you thank a patient, your PR rate goes up 400%.

         Another follow-up variation is to announce what you are doing in your medical practice. Patients want to
    know that you are keeping-up with your specialty and skills, even expanding those.

         Send your patients a note telling them about the big meetings you attend, about the new training you have done in learning a new skill and what it now offers to
    your patients. Tell them about any recognition you have received during the year… like sponsoring a kids
    baseball team.
     
         Hell, if your wife has a baby, tell them who the
    father is!!
     

Advantages of follow-up activities to build and expand your medical practice…

     There are two critical circumstances when most private practice physicians benefit tremendously by knowing the
value and importance of follow-up tactics.

  1. When a physician is starting a new medical practice or starting a medical practice over again at a new location
  2. When a physician’s medical practice is failing to show increased income over 4 to 6 months, whenever that is recognized, and failing to maintain the usual flow of medical patients (the number of new patients coming in are far less than the numbers leaving your practice).

     These are the most unrecognized and practice-
threatening problems that we see today. Issues such as
these account for about 85% of medical practice failures. Several factors come into play that reflect on why this is  happening much more often today.  

  1. Physicians don’t really know how to measure how their practice is doing. Most consider it a waste of time to
    try to keep track of their flow of patients. When they
    don’t use a routine set of measurements, they have no
    way of knowing when their practice is going downhill
    early enough to do anything about it.
  2. Physicians never learn that there’s a lot more to
    detecting problems with their practice business than relying on their monthly CPA statements. Since
    physicians never receive any business education, they don’t know what to look for nor how to prevent common business and financial problems if they happen to
    find one.
  3. Medical educators have crippled physicians in two ways. The never tell medical students about what an
    academic business education can do for their careers in medicine. So students believe that business knowledge
    is useless.
     
    They refuse to provide a business education for all
    medical students which means they prefer to produce physicians that will fail in medical practice, for financial reasons, than educate physicians in business while in medical school and who will not fail in medical practice because they know how to run a successful business.

    The evidence and facts available today clearly show
    that such a business education can be implemented into the normal medical curriculum with all the advantages associated with doing it.
  4. Medical doctors with a business education have the
    tools to use to prevent medical practice business failure.


     Now, about the value of follow-up in any business, why
the process is used in every successful business entity, and why physicians prefer to remain ignorant about it while the rest of the world knows the truth.

     The purpose of follow-up on any business is an efficient means of establishing a connection with the medical patients who for some reason or other fall through the cracks using ordinary marketing techniques. You know how that works.
You send out a thousand postcards that you buy from a list broker to a list of new arrivals in town. Everybody needs a
doctor, right?

     The card is a “welcome to town” greeting and contains
your desire to take care of their family, your office contact data, and maybe a small map on the backside showing how
to locate your office. Most will throw the card away.

     A few will file the card away for later reference. If you’re the first doctor to send them your gentle invitation for care and they happen to need a doctor right then, some will call your office for information, and often become a new patient.

     Out of the 1,000 postcards, you may get 5 or 10
responses and two new patients. That’s about average numbers. If you sent 10,000 postcards out to the category
of potential patients you like to treat, then the new patient figures increase proportionally.

     If you did that same thing for each of the three months before you opened your new medical office, you’d have a
head start on recruiting new patients.

     What happened to the 9,800 potential patients that
never responded. It’s not uncommon for most sloppy businesses to forget the non-responders.

     Marketing research has confirmed that there are a significant number of those 9,800 non-responders will
respond at the right time and for the right reasons if
contacts with them are repeated a number of times. You
know examples of how well it works.
 
     Why else would a company pay for TV time over and
over again showing the same ad or commercial? Why would some company pay to place the same magazine ad in a magazine every month sometimes for several years? They must work, otherwise they’d be losing money.

     Potential patients are out there, forgot what doctor sent them a greeting, and are waiting for your next postcard to remind them. The next time you send the postcard the potential patient may have just dumped his previous doctor and happens to be looking for a new doctor.

     After seeing your name and office greeting repeatedly
over time, it becomes familiar to the person. They might
not need a doctor right then themselves but may refer their friend of neighbor to that doctor.
 
     By maintaining repeated contacts with that huge pool of potential patients, you have a goldmine setup for new
patients. Someone in your office can do this for you.

     My advice has always been to start your marketing programs when you start practice and continue them until
you quit practice. In private practice you are always having patients come and go in and out of your practice.

     To build your practice you need to always have
more patients coming in than leaving.
Keep tabs on
those statistics for a year and you will have a reasonably
good idea whether your practice is growing or not.

  Lesson:    Your medical practice should
always be growing...
never level... never declining .

handwritten signature Dr. Graham

 


"Professional Probe"

photo of basket of chicken eggs and sign saying 'boneless chicken

Good marketing can be persuasive in many ways. You can see the same thing visually and in writing, but the purpose is to move your original perception as a buyer from an expectation (boneless chicken) to an investigation into what are the different kinds of
boneless chicken.

An exorbitant amount of money is lost in medical practice as a result of the erroneous perception that marketing is a one-shot deal. If you don't get everything you are after on the first try, you move on to the next marketing effort believing that there is no value left in the residual.

When something seems so obvious, why would anyone take the time to investigate further? That's where physicians go wrong. Hidden behind all marketing efforts is a world of
things that produce profits that doctors are not aware of. That's why there is such a huge benefit income-wise for physicians who are knowledgeable enough about business to use follow-up procedures extensively to find the hidden gold.
 

 Article #65-A

Photo of Dan S. Kennedy, marketing expert
"The #1 Thing Holding
You Back From 7-Figures"

By: Dan Kennedy on: October 31st, 2014

Personally, I’ve never liked it.

But I realized early on, it was irrelevant whether I liked it
or not.

The question wasn’t, “Did I like it?”

The real question was “How much money did I want to make and how much freedom did I want?”

Kind of like dieting and exercise, the question isn’t “do you like to exercise and eat right?” No... the real question is do you like the alternative if you don’t exercise and make the right food choices?

So it’s important, although again, not something I
particularly like.

What I’m about to tell you is a transcendental factor
in income.

And if you listen to what I say, you could find yourself
making a lot more money across every communication channel.

You see, for at least the past 30 years or so, I’ve been teaching that the one thing that usually gets people who
are earning below six-figures or a low six-figures in any business up into a high six-figures is the quantum leap of shifting from being the “doer” of your thing to the
“marketer” of your thing.

That is still true.

Shifting from being a fitness instructor to a marketer of fitness training. Changing from being a veterinarian to marketing veterinarian care.

Switching from a photographer to marketing photography services, and so on, will carry you a pretty good way.

I mean, most people locked into relatively low incomes, regardless of their level of expertise or excellence that they deliver, are stuck there because their primary view of their business is the doing of the thing.

The cooking of the food, the cracking of the bat, the fixing
of the tooth, the waxing of the car, the styling of the hair,
the – whatever. And when you shift out of that so that
you’re actually now in the marketing of that thing, that’s a pretty good income leap.

But truth be told, it has its limits.

It’s NOT the thing that gets you to a 7-figure income.

And it is questionable whether it will give you the exact freedom you are seeking. Because although you are making more money, you are also most likely still working a lot of hours for it.

Let me show you what making the next shift can do.

I make 7-figures from copywriting alone. That is only
partially the way I make money though. I only spend 20%
of my
time writing.

Imagine making that leap in your business and only
working at your “thing” 20% of the time. How would THAT change your life?

So here’s the thing you must do to make the next quantum leap. (Tweet this!)

As I mentioned, personally it is a thing I never really liked, but I do it because the alternative is worse. So this really is pretty important.

You must shift from focusing on being the “marketer of your thing” to focusing on “the status of the individual providing the thing.”

Because even when you are the marketer of your thing, the focus is still on the thing, not on the greatest possible point
of differentiation, which is the status of the individual providing the thing.

Increasingly all other options for differentiation are
becoming harder and harder to use and sustain. But one
thing that will always make you different is who you are.

The easiest place to look for examples of this is with celebrities and professional athletes.

There are professional football players who make a good
six-figure income. They are elite athletes who reach an income level that many never will. But, unless you are a diehard fan, you likely wouldn’t recognize their name even
if they offer big contributions to the team.

As an example, NFL player Ryan Taylor is probably a name you aren’t familiar with. You probably don’t even know what team he plays for, but he makes a solid 6-figure income and
is in his 4th year playing professional football.

In comparison, Johnny Manziel better known as Johnny Football is in his rookie season. He has less experience than Ryan Taylor, yet Manziel makes $2 million a year not including endorsement deals. You probably also recognize
the name Johnny Manziel or at least have heard the name Johnny Football even if you aren’t a fan.

The big difference is that Manziel knows how to market his personal brand. That, more than his ability or experience,
has put money in his pocket.

For instance earlier this year, prior to knowing whether or
not Manziel would be a boom or a bust in the NFL, Nike
signed him to the largest endorsement deal from this year’s NFL rookie class. It had nothing to do with experience or
even how well he plays.

So if you want to join the 7-Figure club, then you’ll have
to get out of the business of marketing your thing and get
into the business of marketing you, even if you dislike
doing it as much as I do.

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In Every Issue:


My desire is to always offer you the business and marketing strategies that you will need if you ever wish to reach your maximum potential in the practice of medicine whether you are employed or in private practice.
 

My New  Book


"The Wounded Physician Project"
 

photo of the graphic book cover to The Wounded Physician Project

The average medical doctor in the US practices medicine for 12,617 days and leaves a million dollars on the table during that time.

They never are able recognize that it was available to them during all those years because they lack a business education.

This book is unique because no other author has ever written about the primary cause and solution to today's increasing attrition of physicians and the demise of private medical practice.

Once the reader becomes exposed to the extreme and relentless series of strategic moves organized and implemented by our government to control healthcare, the reader will understand why all physicians must be provided with an academic
business education.

Secondly, the reader will discover the critical importance and practical value of a business education for practicing physicians. Today, most physicians struggle financially while running their medical practice business because of their reliability on their own
business ignorance.

The contents discuss all the benefits and advantages of business knowledge, how to get  it and use it, and quickly reverse the money crunch you are
experiencing today.

You probably won't get much benefit from an MBA degree because it's not oriented to medical practice business that demands special knowledge, implementation, and decisions.
     The success principles of all businesses are the same, but the management of those business strategies have to match the passions, objectives, and diligence capabilities of each  physician.

The content is meant not only to inspire physicians to gain business knowledge, but also to get a very clear understanding about how fragile their medical career is to present day economic, political, and social threats.

The ultimate goal of all medical doctors should be to use their business knowledge as a offensive weapon against predators, both economic and governmental, to survive and grow using the business tools I continue to throw at you. It's the only offensive force that physicians have to use to remain in private practice.

I truly believe this is the one and only solution for maintaining solo medical practice. This is especially critical to the most popular option---cash only practice---for practicing medicine outside the government healthcare system.

Order the book today--

Available through your local bookstore's order desk or
at these online bookstores...

   Amazon .com

                 Barnesandnoble.com

Xlibris.com
or
by phone 1-888-795-4274 x 7879


I guarantee that it will stick to
your hands and mind for as long as you practice medicine.

Show the world what you are capabable of doing

 

Profitable Practice Tips


1. New approach to post op recovery from surgery---so they think. (WSJ --3-31-15)

Supposedly the new approach used over the last 15 years in Europe is catching on here in USA.
Patients post op are now off iv's fast, ambulated rapidly, decreased narcotics for pain,  and go home 1 or 2 days sooner.

What is so interesting to me is that I did all these things on all my post op OBG patients for over 20 years in private practice even when my associates though I was nuts. I also ordered a regular diet as soon as the patient could tolerate it---never had to regret doing that.

A general surgeon taught me to do all that--thank God.

2. Practice Fusion, a new startup. Provides software to doctors to implement into their office systems. It automatically flags when a patient is due for some form of immunization. Studies show 85% increase in doctor services and charges from using the software.

Problem is it is so expensive that most physicians in private practice will not be able to
afford it.

 

Borderless Humor


"Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement."

---Mark Twain

 

 

Inspiration Time


"It doesn't matter where you're coming from. It only matters where you are going."

---Brian Tracy
      

Views I Only Share With My Friends--


What my medical career taught me...

Click Here... and how it can help you manage your medical practice business at the highest level of expertise.
 

 Facts And Stats
You Should Know


1. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

2. The Swine Flu vaccine in 1976 caused more death and illness than the disease it was intended to prevent.
 

What Your Kids
Are Capable Of…


Insist on and help your kids to become assets...
photo of small boy studying at a desk

When you want to understand
what your modern day kids are capable of and have the ability to do, regarding starting a business of their own, then hit the link below and give yourself a dose of inspirational enlightenment...

(CLICK HERE )

Teach your kids these things

--
business principles,
--
money-management,
--creative thinking,
--entrepreneurship,
--self-discipline,
--integrity,
--decision making,
--independence,
--kindness,
--respect,
--truthfulness,
--humility,
--goal setting,
--faith in God,
         and
the power of money

 

New Important
Notices


Protect your practice using the strategies in this
 eBook,
which  contains the keys to your medical practice survival.
eBook cover graphic

"How To Rapidly Propel Your Medical Practice Income To Unlimited Levels In 6 Months"
 
Click Here When you need expert help and advice, and when...

red arrow pointing to 
						right you just don't know where to turn to get honest and reliable help with your battle to fight the external forces that compromise your practice revenue
and growth.

red arrow pointing to right you want to improve your medical practice income dramatically in a short period of time.

red arrow pointing to right you prefer to find the means to reach your highest level of practice income
and productivity.

red arrow pointing to right you demand effective and reliable means for preventing the financial collapse of your medical practice.

red arrow pointing to right you are determined to find ways to combat govt. fee restrictions that continue to increase.

red arrow pointing to right you recognize that what you are missing in your medical business are implementation of business principles and marketing strategies.

red arrow pointing to right you want to do it yourself and save a bunch of money.

red arrow pointing to right you are sick and tired of putting up with what you are being forced into doing with your practice to stay afloat.

red arrow pointing to right you are aware that no other physician author is making any effort to tell you what to do and how to do it effectively to reach your expectations you had for your medical career when you started.

red arrow pointing to right you understand the severity of being in a business without ever being taught the business knowledge to
run it profitably.

red arrow pointing to right you insist on having a blueprint for your medical practice business that provides every key to your practice success at the highest level. 
 

References For Maximizing
Your Practice Income

 

My Other Medical Websites

www.healthcaresecrets
revealed-finally.com 

www.hushed-upweightlosssecrets.com

www.howtopropelyourmedical
practiceincome.com 

www.medicalstudenttips.com  

www.healthcare-toolbox.com

www.thewoundedphysicianproject.com

www.medicalpracticecoaching.com
(pending)

Paraprosdokian Ideas


"There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away."
 

 

bird on its back---I give up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  photo-Vietnam me with two corpsmen      photo Dr. Graham early in practice     photo Dr. Graham and wife Linda      photo Dr. Graham late in practice          photo of my medical practice associates group

Marine Flight Surgeon Vietnam
1964-65    

1973 Private Practice

 Wife Linda 1985

1994 My office

My prior Medical Practice Group...
Graham, Mayo, Kaplan, Seibert,
DelValle, Chuba

masonic insignia American flag         Curt Graham, M.D.
2404 Mason Ave.  Las Vegas, NV 89102
E-mail = cgmdrx(at)gmail.com
       © 2004-2015  Curtis Graham, M.D.,  All Rights Reserved.