This post is from our friend and founder of Evidenced Based Chiropractor, Dr. Jeffrey Langmaid
MD marketing is the biggest opportunity you have to grow your practice.
Let me repeat that-
MD marketing is the biggest opportunity you have to grow your chiropractic practice.
That is a bold statement, but I stand by it 100%.
Building long-term referral relationships with other providers in your community is how you can develop a solid practice.
Yes, it takes a little bit of effort. But, its worth it. It can change your practice.
So- how do you hack your way to referral growth? It’s simple; use all 3 legs of the MD marketing stool.
Notice I said its quite simple, but I didn’t say it was easy. If you throw together a haphazard “system” and don’t establish processes then you will waste a lot of time and money.
You may be thinking, “Been there, done that”.
Well, your not alone.
I speak to chiropractors everyday who tell me marketing chiropractic to medical doctors doesn’t work in their community… with their patients…. due to insurance coverages…I don’t have the time
etc, etc. etc.
Here is the hard truth. All of these are excuses, not reasons for failure.
But enough of the negativity, we know the challenges. Now lets talk about the solution.
The 3 legs of the MD marketing stool are: Research Updates, Case Notes, and Meetings. But using all 3 you will greatly improve your results and dramatically build your practice.
“WE HAVE DOUBLE OUR DIRECT MD REFERRALS SINCE IMPLEMENTING YOUR PLAN.” – EBC MEMBER DR. GOLDI JACQUES-MAYNES
First you need to build your target list. You can only improve what gets measured and the quality of your list will directly impact the results of your outreach.
The best results stem from a target list of 50 docs. These should be mostly primary care physicians (75% of the list) with some specialty docs (25% of the list).
Next you can use the WebMD Physician Search Tool or ZocDoc to fill out the remaining spots on your list. These tools allow you to search by provider type and location, making them the perfect tools for list development.
Once you have your target list you can begin building.
Monthly research updates are the core component to physician outreach. By sending monthly research you are able to position your practice as the local leader in conservative care and provide real value for other docs.
Everyone is extremely busy in practice. And, truth be told, many chiropractors themselves are not up to date on the latest research. So if you aren’t up to date- how do you expect anyone else to be?
A monthly single page PDF highlighting a single peer-reviewed study is the most effective way to reach out. This keeps your content focused, impactful, and easily read. We offer this as the core service of The Evidence Based Chiropractor (with the entire system and process from A to Z included). Quite frankly, no one does it better and we can save you a ton of time and energy by doing it for you.
But, if you want to try to create these on your own then I would suggest setting up an auto search via PubMed. You can set a few keyword terms (such as adjustment, chiropractic, etc.) and then PubMed will automatically email you every week with any new studies containing these keywords.
This is a great way to stay current with the latest research. The only problem is that many of the papers will not be free. But, you can still read the abstracts and get a pretty good feel for the article. And then, if you want to purchase- you can.
From there, I recommend sending a monthly research update, or research brief, to your target list. This brief should be a single page, engaging, and visually stunning. By keeping your brief, well… brief (see what I did there) it will have maximum impact.
WARNING- do not send a 5 page paper that is all type with no pictures! I can assure you will not be read and will be a big waste of time and resources.
Next, you will want to follow up with case notes. You have patients coming into your office everyday getting great results. Are you showcasing these results?
For our purposes in this section we are not stalking about showcasing them online. We are talking about showcasing them to their PCP. You are already co-managing these patients with their PCP (whether either one of your is aware or not).
The social proof generated by sending case notes, and showing off the great results of your care, will be an invaluable asset as you reduce the friction and encourage referrals into your office.
Now, whats the number 1 cardinal sin when sending case notes?
First, is make sure you have the patients permission and are within the letter of the law regarding HIPPA compliance. Unfortunately, you wont be helping too many people if you end up in the clink, so consult an attorney if you have any questions regarding the sharing of protected health information.
Aside from that, the real sin is creating a case note which is TOO robust and never gets read (sound familiar?).
Your case notes should have 4 simple items:
DATE OF SERVICE
It’s that simple.
Keep your case notes short. Don’t list every orthopedic test. Don’t list every palpation finding.
After you send them, the PCP is unlikely to look at them before he sees the patient again in his/her office. Then, it will be a quick look at your note before entering the room with the patient.
If your case note is too long- good luck. They will be skipped over.
But, if you list the four criteria above- you will give all the pertinent information needed for that doctor to ask the patient, “how are you doing in Dr. Chiropractors office?”.
Which is exactly what you want. BOOM. Social proof and an opportunity for the patient to tel the doctor about the great work you have been doing.
Finally, we get to the third leg of the stool. The MD Meeting. Meeting with MD”s is perhaps the greatest accelerator to building referral relationships. It tie’s together the Monthly Research Briefs and Case Notes.
When meeting with a physician it is important to find ways to bring value to their practice. The best way to do this is to ask questions.
I recommend a 3 question socratic approach.
- Do you see patients that suffer from spine-related complaints?
- What types of spine complaints have you seen lately?
- What is your current treatment protocol for these patients?
These three simple questions will give you everything you need to know to properly position your practice for referrals.
First, you want to be sure the doctor is currently accepting patients with spine complaints. Obviously this is important so that you don’t waste time in an office which would never become a referral partner.
Second, you want to find out if they are seeing any trends with their patients. This gives you a patient profile. By identifying the profile of the patients they are seeing more commonly in practice, you will better be able to position your practice and create a value add.
Third, and most importantly, you will want to identify their current treatment protocol. Are they referring to Physical Therapy? Treating in-house with NSAID’s? Referring to a Pain Management Doc?
We have distinct advantage over all 3 of these options that I teach within The Evidence Based Chiropractor marketing program.
You don’t need to hit a homer on your first at-bat.
If you really want to accelerate your growth, get ALL the systems, tools and resources to build referral relationships then I encourage you to become a Member of The Evidence Based Chiropractor.
Many of our members have DOUBLED their incoming MD referral as a result of using our systems and processes. The best part is that we will give you all the tools to get started immediately.
No wasted time, no wasted money, no wasted office staffing.
Also, did I mention……no risk?
Many of our Members have a Monthly plan with no long term contract.