Home Health Referral Physician Marketing|
David Tapia, MBA
Physicians are also business people. At the end of the day, the bottom line is just as important to them as it is any other business.
Agency marketing messages should focus on how your agency can improve the physician's bottom line. Referrals can be generated by simply focusing on the primary motivators engaging physicians to position positioning your agency to help physician meet core business goals.
The core business goals driving most physicians' medical decision-making include:
Sometimes core business goals are not enough to generate referrals, due to other decision influencing factors. In his Home Health Marketing Bible, Maxim A. Azarov mentions the "Sphere of Influence approach" to home health marketing.
This approach is "based on the observation that individual doctors, case managers, as well as medical institutions, have their own professional influences.
These influences can often overpower their demand for your product or service." In addition, physicians often make medical referral decisions based on "secondary motivation." Knowing what influences the physicians interests can stimulate additional referrals.
What motivates physicians and hospitals to choose competitors over your agency? According to Azarov, the "Personal Interest Influence affects a doctor's medical decision if he or she has a strong personal interest (medical, or otherwise) outside of the practice. An example can be an involvement in medical research, charitable program or sport."
Review your list of current and potential physician referral sources from which you hope to receive patient referrals. Do you know anything about the physician's personal interests?
Dig deep for information you may be overlooking. For example, is the physician passionate about a particular health cause or involved in a non-profit organization? Does the hospital or physician sponsor events such as a sports marathon or health fair?
Demonstration of community involvement is one of the factors many physicians consider when choosing an agency for patient referrals.
Home health care providers are intrinsically responsible for serving the citizens of the local community. The tricky part is demonstrating the extent at which the agency is serving, or giving back to the community.
If you have room in the marketing budget, demonstrate the organization's corporate responsibility by sponsoring a health-related event to increase awareness for your agency. This will also catch the attention of physicians who are passionate for the cause for which the event is benefiting.
If you do not have room in your budget, find out which health fairs or sporting events each physician plans to sponsor or attend this year, and be there to show your agency's support.
David Tapia, MBA, is Managing Partner at Exegete Consultants, LLC
October 28, 2011
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