Successful Marketing is about Consistency
When you consider the changes within the healthcare profession over the past decade, from regulatory and compliance crackdowns to healthcare reform, it makes you wonder if marketing your practice is worth the risk. From personal experience, I can tell you that it IS possible to create a rock-solid marketing plan while staying compliant and attracting new patients to your practice.
Marketing Plan “Do’s”
Build Your Brand:
Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It’s all about the patient experience, building personal connections, and stirring human emotions. It takes months, even years, to build your brand, but you can start by simply walking from the parking lot to the front door and throughout your office to see and feel what your patients experience when they visit your clinic. Does it reflect the feeling you want to convey to your patients? If not, make changes to create the environment you want your patients to experience (Gosling, 2016).
Create an Online Presence:
We are a society that is digitally connected to the world from our phones and laptops. Today, window shopping takes place online, and it’s not on a stroll down Main Street. The lack of a website for your practice can result in lost business. Be smart when it comes to creating a website. Unless you have a background in digital marketing and design, I encourage you to use a professional. It is worth the added expense. There are a great variety of companies that can build and design the website of your dreams affordably (Leinbach-Reyhle, 2014).
There is a lot of power in social proof, but be mindful of HIPAA rules before using patient testimonials. HIPAA require that you obtain a patient’s permission before using their personal information for marketing purposes. This includes using the patient’s name, face, and testimonial on your website, social media, print advertising, and in your office. In 2016, a Physical Therapy provider received a $25,000 penalty for posting patient testimonials on his website without first having obtained HIPAA-compliant authorizations from the patients (HIPAA Journal, 2016).
People do business with people they like:
According to a 2013 study, 82% of consumers consider a company’s social responsibility/community involvement when deciding where to spend their money for a product or a service (White, 2017). Join and attend networking events, ribbon cuttings, open houses, etc. These events put you in front of other business owners, medical professionals, and a host of potential new patients in your area. They also offer opportunities to participate in community events, promote your practice at local 5Ks, and educate other business professionals on the benefits of chiropractic.
Be CAREFUL offering discounts on services:
There are rules and regulations, carrying high fines and penalties, that prohibit discounts. Additionally, there are consequences to offering discounts when you are a participating provider with insurance. Last year, a chiropractor agreed to pay $80,000 to settle allegations that he provided free electrical stim to patients in his practice. We are also starting to see an uptick in investigations involving dual fee schedules around the country.
As busy business owners and doctors, you must keep in mind that marketing is an ongoing process. Your patients are looking for consistency and reliability in all areas of your business, from social media to print advertising. To be sure that your marketing message and strategy remain consistent, set aside time each fall to outline your marketing plan for the upcoming year (Belkin, 2019). This will make it easier for you and your team to prepare in advance and stay on target. It won’t take long for you to see the long-term benefits of an effectively-executed marketing plan to your practice.
Dr. Ray Foxworth is a certified Medical Compliance Spe¬cialist and President of ChiroHealthUSA. A practicing Chiropractor, he remains “in the trenches” facing challenges with billing, coding, documentation, and compliance. He has served as president of the Mis¬sissippi Chiropractic Association, former Staff Chiro¬practor at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center and is a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractic. You can contact Dr. Foxworth at 1-888-719-9990, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the ChiroHealthUSA website at www.chirohealthusa.com. Join us for a free webinar that will give you all the details about how a DMPO can help you practice with more peace of mind. Go to www.chirohealthusa.com to register today.