You may have heard the hype around the impending demise of the private medical practice. According to some, a mix of increased regulations, changing pay models, meaningful use and turmoil around the Affordable Care Act are set to destroy all but the more massive care providers. That’s not an outcome doctors or patients want to see, and with the right kind of healthcare marketing, a small practice can get ahead of the large groups that are slower to innovate their advertising strategies.
Big Practices and Hospitals Make Big Mistakes
Hospitals and big healthcare systems have been snatching up doctors left and right, assuming more physicians would improve care and increase profits. Unfortunately for these big systems, that hasn’t been the case so far. The median loss from hiring a doctor was $176,463.
Healthcare systems absorbing private medical practices haven’t helped patients or their wallets either. Generally, patients will pay more at hospital for the same procedure than they would at a private office. In the entrepreneurship game, this is what’s known as a market opportunity.
This ham-handed approach to growth can be used to your advantage. Hiring doctors can bring in their old patients to a bigger system, but you need a medical marketing and media strategy to bring in new patients and establish loyalty.
Marketing Can Make the Difference
Strange as it may seem, the healthcare market is starting to function more like the market for consumer good or service, and your marketing should reflect that. Private practitioners are in the fortunate position of being able to provide the same service as bigger healthcare systems at a lower price point and with less red tape that comes with large groups. With the added appeal of being locally-owned and community focused, there is a lot to like for consumers.
The key is to hit those prospective patients with messaging that shows them the smaller practice is founded with a more singular mission for better care and truly has their interests in mind.
The News Ain’t All Bad
There’s another great boon to private medical practitioners – millions of Americans are gaining insurance each year. These beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act represent an untapped market, and especially for private practices that have more control over which insurance they accept.
So while the overall trend might seem to spell doom for the smaller practices, the future is full of opportunity. If you run a medical practice and want to see how you can get an edge on the bigger groups, get a positioning analysis from RCM and get a sense of where your medical marketing and advertising can take you.