How are you doing on marketing your healthcare practice? Is it going well? Driving in patients you’re qualified to treat?
If so, that’s wonderful. Congratulations. No doubt, you’re focusing on doctor referrals, the #1 way to boost your healthcare business.
But if that is the case, it still leaves a question open: At what cost?
There are three main ways you can boost your appeal in other doctors’ eyes, increasing your chance of receiving quality patients – those you’re qualified to treat.
You can do it all yourself.
You can bring on a specialized staff member to handle that task.
You can hire an outside firm to do it instead.
Depending on your personality type, one of the options above might automatically sound better than the other two. Or perhaps you can see the value in all three.
Certainly, each option does have its pros and cons.
As for some of the pros, you have easy access to all the data coming in when you handle it all yourself. Outsourcing that responsibility gives you more time on your hands, of course. And bringing on a new staff member can offer you a blend of both positives.
But then there are the downsides. Whichever route you take, there are three primary ones you’ll need to consider.
The True Financial Cost of Referral Marketing
If you’re handling your doctor-to-doctor referrals on your own, it’s not going to take a chunk out of the profit you bring in, of course. But it will lessen your profit potential – possibly severely.
More on that later.
Taking on a new staff member makes a much more obvious bite in your budget. According to VeryWell Health, which bills itself as “an award-winning resource for reliable, understandable, and up-to-date information on the medical topics that matter most to you,” physician’s liaisons make an average annual salary of $57,000.
Practice representatives typically come cheaper than that, but they’re also going to be less qualified. Plus, you’ll still need to factor in the cost of any employee incentives such as health insurance, 401k matching and the like.
Smart Hustle Magazine takes it a step deeper by noting these less obvious costs associated with adding to your staff:
Federal and state unemployment taxes
Social Security and Medicare
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Employee Payroll (i.e., software to handle all of it).
That’s a lot.
Yet turning to your average referral development firm can be pretty pricey too. Perhaps not as much as directly hiring someone, but it can still easily amount to something that’s borderline unaffordable – or worse.
The True Time Cost of Referral Marketing
How much free time do you have on your hands during the work day?
If you’re the average healthcare practitioner, the answer is probably somewhere close to zero. Therefore, you quite simply don’t have time to properly form, cultivate and maintain a doctor referral list.
There’s too much involved in the process, including the time it takes to connect with them in the first place… arranging sit-down, face-to-face meetings… driving to and from those sit-down, face-to-face meetings… and then following up on them in similar fashion to keep the work relationship functional.
Hiring someone to handle all of that might seem like the only viable solution, except that there’s plenty of time commitment involved there as well. As Smart Hustle Magazine implies in the afore cited “5 Hidden Costs of Hiring You Must Consider” article, bringing on a new employee is work in and of itself.
You have to weed through worthwhile candidates during the interview process. Then, even after “the right one” has been hired, he or she is still going to need time – your time – to get properly acclimated to your specific healthcare practice.
Outsourcing the task altogether is thereby the most effective solution. Though that can still entail vetting processes and “check-ups” to make sure they’re doing their job properly.
The True Misdiagnoses Cost of Referral Marketing
Your profit has value. So does your time. But the same applies to your reputation: your ability to provide quality diagnoses and solutions.
This is an area of your professional life that can suffer greatly when you’re distracted by, say, worrying about how well your referral marketing plans are holding up.
Medical mistakes are bound to happen from time to time. It’s unfortunate but true. Yet healthcare practitioners can drastically cut down on those by delegating non-healthcare related tasks to experts in those fields.
As we’ve already discussed, that can be a costly process. Though it doesn’t have to be.
Doctor Referral Network works just as hard on our end as you do on yours to make your healthcare practice run smoothly. We get to know you and what you offer, then take that information to the healthcare community around you…
Boosting your bottom line, your time-management and your ability to provide quality care to the patients who walk through your door.
That’s the pledge DRI makes from the get-go. And we do it without any hidden costs.