Marketing Consultant

(Fred Bagares) #1


I am interested in starting a direct care musculoskeletal clinic. I’ve heard there are consultants that can do some market research to see what my local area is like. If this is true, does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks for your time!

(Jack Forbush, DO) #2

Well, you could find a consult to do most anything :slight_smile:

You can get some of your own research by looking at the demographic breakdown, population, etc. to determine whether your potential musculoskeletal patients are young, aged, etc. That’s the first place I would start in addition to looking at what other resources in the community people may access for musculoskeletal concerns and/or conditions.

(Fred Bagares) #3

I already work in the community and noticed that there are a handful of direct primary care practices in the area. So my sense is that there is a market. I’m meeting with the owner of a direct practice physical therapy clinic this week to pick their brain.

Thanks for your input!

(Jack Forbush, DO) #4

No problem. You should be able to get a great deal of demographic information from your town or city hall.

(Dino William Ramzi) #5

Any type of practice can be made direct. Networking and marketing are key. I hope you are not thinking subscription though. My personal opinion is that the further you get from a general practice, the more you are subject to adverse selection.

(Fred Bagares) #6

What do you mean by adverse selection?

Thanks for the input and clarification!

(Robin Dickinson) #7

@Dino_William_Ramzi Do you mean patients selecting out so you only get the high needs ones?

(Robin Dickinson) #8

@fozzy40 I agree with @jforbush that you can pay someone to do just about anything but in general you can learn a lot about an area yourself without hiring someone…especially if you already live there.

Remember that with DPC you aren’t worried about a large revolving group of people like a store would be. You need 300-800 people in general. You’ll have more turnover and a higher utilization for a more specialized practice in general so you will have to factor that in.

But rather than thinking of the patient market, it might be worthwhile to think of the referral market. Who will send patients to you? Will it be primarily PCPs, orthopedic surgeons, massage therapists, local athletic trainers, etc. Make a HUGE list of every potential referral source. Then go visit some and talk with them. Find out what their pain points are. Maybe they want someone who will see their patients/clients quickly or who will provide emotional support or who will send notes back to the PCP or decrease opioid use post op or whatever. Then create your own marketing sheets for different angles (I just use google docs and free clip art for mine and print a 1 page black and white handout that they can easily photocopy) and take them around and say hi.

For example, I do full spectrum family medicine except OB but I prefer young families. I also am located in a pair of office buildings that mostly house small businesses. So I have one marketing sheet titled, “Why Do Families Who See Midwives Come Here?” and the same exact one with the word “Lactation Consultants” switched out for “Midwives”. And another that says, “Why Do People Who Work in the Wells Fargo Building See Me?” and another with “Chase Tower” switched out for “Wells Fargo”.

In the ones for crunchy young families, I emphasize things like the amount of time I spend, that my office has a playroom, that I’m available by phone evenings and weekends with questions. In the ones for small businesses, I emphasize things like the convenience of going to the doctor over your lunch break, reduced absenteeism from illnesses, and that many people working in these buildings already come to see me.

I could have payed someone the big bucks to think of that but it’s pretty much common sense. :grin:

(Jason Larsen) #9

I agree with everybody here. Having done marketing consulting myself (not advertising my services at all), do as much work yourself as possible. I’ve heard of consultants charging WAY too much (upwards of $20,000) for information that you can take a day or a week to learn or figure out yourself. And oftentimes it will be bad advice, too…

Utilize this forum, as there are many people with lots of experience (meaning both successes AND failures).

There are times where you can hire a consultant, but ask around (even this forum) to see if what they’re offering and how much they are is going to be of value. A lot of consultants look at the medical field and see huge dollar signs - when what we’re trying to do is take care of patients first and make a comfortable living doing that.

You’ll be doing something very different from what most ‘consultants’ have even seen, so I would be very wary of hiring anybody.

My first piece of advice… do the initial work of seeing how many patients you would need in order to make the living you desire, including any expenses, taxes, etc. This will give you some immediate goals as you start your research - and hopefully some encouragement that you can actually do what you want!

(cjs56) #10

Excellent advise by Dr. Dickinson and Jason Larsen. A good thing for Fred Bagares to do may be to contact some drug rehabilitation centers or even legal aid offices and let them know you may be able to IMPROVE FUNCTIONALITY in patients that need it (the ones on chronic opioids).
Also, perhaps personal injury attorneys may be able to refer some patients to see…if you want to do that type of care as well as some work comp. attorneys. Also, high school sports coaches may be good resource as well as community colleges and universities (student health centers) for sports type injuries.
Many students at universities are from out of town and so parents may look to save money on healthcare.
I was able to locate two additional attorneys in CA regarding D.P.C. practices.
I am engaged in deep thought about the new information and will send it in the next week or so. The legalities of D.P.C. are pretty tough. For example, how to avoid being labeled as an insurance company, that you really do need to be H.I.P.A.A. compliant in the electronic record because the protected info. may go to a health care provider who does have a secured portal, whether to charge for an office visit even though a D.P.C. physician is collecting a membership fee each month or quarter, etc.
Does anyone know when the recent A.A.F.P. D.P.C. conference that was held in D.C. will be put on You Tube with an audio and visual presentation.
Did anyone attend the conference and specifically the legal lectures?

Is DPC legal?
(Robin Dickinson) #11

Amen. This was what I found in talking with people before I opened my practice is anyone with advice was just pulling it from thin air because they really had no idea!

(Robin Dickinson) #12

I’m going to move this portion to another thread over here and I tagged a couple legal gurus for you.