The practice of concierge medicine, or its variants like retainer or membership medicine, or direct care practice (DPC) has been inundated with a lot of issues, controversies, and challenges.
According to the critics of these concierge models or DPC practices, in exchange for a membership fee or retainer fee, where the patient pays a hefty sum for patient visits, the primary care doctors provide personalized health care, at any time a patient needs. The patient can request concierge physicians’ presence whenever and wherever.
But one thing remains true and unbiased: digital marketing benefits providers from all kinds of healthcare practices. In fact, it’s essential for promoting your practice in 2020.
Why Concierge Medicine?
In a blog post, “Why I Chose Concierge Medicine,” Dr. Simon Murray, an internal medicine specialist, enumerates the reasons why he opted to be a concierge doctor and the benefits of concierge medicine practices:
1. Providing more quality care to patients
From 2,000 plus patients on his list, he downsized to 450 patients–those who agreed to receive concierge care. Each patient pays an annual fee of about $1,500 per year to cover for services or lab tests not covered by the insurance plan. In exchange, he provided customized care. He determined who would benefit from telephone consult and remote monitoring devices, saving the patient unnecessary commute to the health care facility and absences from work. This new technology freed up his day appointments for walk-ins and add-ons. As a result, this saved his other patients unnecessary visits to the urgent care facility and emergency department.
Because of the reduced number of patients, he was able to allot more time for a consult and reduce his patient’s waiting room time. Under the MDVIP retainer-based model, he was able to negotiate a reduced fee for those patients who wanted to sign up but could not afford the regular price. “Additionally, they gave me the ability to accept a percentage of patients who could join without paying the annual fee,” he said. Contrary to popular belief that this model only caters to the rich and famous, Dr. Murray’s concierge practice includes teachers, police officers, and doctors as typical patients.
2. Better quality of life as a healthcare provider.
Because of the fixed price and number of patients, he earned more and had a predictable income. As a result, he felt more justly compensated for the hard work and quality of care that he provides for the patients. He was able to admit and follow-up with his patients in the hospital instead of delegating them to hospitalists, who don’t know much about his patients’ conditions as much as he does.
He also said, “It allowed me to reconnect to my family. No more taking charts home, answering calls at night for the most part, and more time to attend family events.”
3. More resources, i.e., time, talent, and treasure to share with the community.
Because of the better quality of life in this practice model, he has the resources to give back to the community. He said, “A higher salary allowed me to provide more charity care. I began to teach residents and students in my office because I had more time, and I began to read more and keep up on CME. It also allowed me to pay a fair salary with benefits to my staff, who were one of the keys to my success.”
Obviously, to be able to provide better direct patient care, DPC providers need all the arsenals in the industry, including those from digital marketing.
Are you a concierge medicine practitioner or considering becoming one? You may want to look at ways that you can use digital marketing to boost your practice.
Why Concierge Medicine Providers Need a Professional Website
Having a website with functionalities that offer more than information about your practice can add value to your care.
Here are some ways you can do that:
- Create a patient portal within your website. This way, patients can log on to update their healthcare information, view their labs, schedule an appointment, or email you for questions. Read our blog on custom patient-friendly websites for more tips.
- Drive valuable and engaging content that helps your patients manage their health at home. This can include blogs, vlogs, and even recipes that help them control their blood sugar, inflammatory symptoms, or weight. Read our blog on how to increase patient engagement for more strategies.
- Use your website as a rich resource by having social media links, references links, and reading lists for hard-to-understand topics. You can even add a list of practitioners within your network that they can also contact.
Make Communication Key
Connecting with your patients digitally, therefore maximizing engagement, can be done through social media and email subscriptions.
One of the best ways to be “present” to your patients without needing in person visits is through scheduled digital communication. These could be in the form of vlogs, email newsletters, webinars, and social media postings.
Carving a couple of minutes a day to create these can save you hours of individual patient education in the long run. And you can discuss standardized care through these channels to cover the basics. This will in turn leave you more time for customized patient care on individual visits. Read our blog on how to use social media to reach patients.
Make sure you define and describe the kind of primary care you provide under the concierge model. For example, are health insurers still welcome to partner with you, or do you only accept patients on a cash basis? With many models emerging nowadays that cater to a wide variety of socio-economic profiles, your practice will benefit from digital marketing.
New to the concierge medicine practice? Then you may find some useful marketing tips from our recent blog on planning your business marketing for 2020.
We Can Help
Don’t have time to think through your digital marketing campaign? Let us take care of the details! Schedule a free business growth call here to find out how we can help your practice’s marketing efforts. We can help promote your practice next year.