There really are only two ways to get more patients. The first is the absolute easiest: BE THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN. Hey then you don’t even have to be that good!
But honestly that only works for a few, and I even hear about those guys hurting. It’s because they don’t understand about patient expectations and the “old school” way of doing things. Back in the day the insurance plan paid 80% and you paid the 20% and you could go to anyone you wanted, but you didn’t. You went to the SAME office and you referred to your doctor as “my” doctor. He knew you, your brothers and sisters and your parents. You got a consistent experience, the nice old lady behind the counter just kept getting older (who knew she was his wife?) and just like her always being there, you had an expected experience- one of caring.
Acupuncturists today can duplicate that experience and get and keep patients for a lifetime but they don’t. Instead of thinking about the patient, they think about themselves and wonder why they don’t have more patients.
A LOT of acupuncturists practice at TWO locations, AND still aren’t making much money. Why TWO locations? Did you start part time in at one place (to save money-) then heard of another provider offering space who would said he would refer you patients so you took a couple days there. Here, there, everywhere, seeing a few patients at each location, squeezing your patients into YOUR schedule rather than what works for them.
Why do you insist on putting your intake forms online? I’ve seen providers sneer when their patients couldn’t or wouldn’t fill out their online forms. Are you thinking about the patient? NO you want the convenience of knowing your forms are automatically paperless. Now if a patient wants to fill out the forms online give them the option but certainly don’t make it mandatory.
This is my personal favorite – log on and make an appointment on line. Why don’t you just tell them – WE DON’T WANT TO WASTE OUR TIME TALKING TO YOU! We aren’t going out of our way for you. We aren’t even going to try and “fit” you in or stay late for you, or come in on our day off. You aren’t THAT important.
Who started the internet forms and log in capabilities? Managed care – they need to cram MORE people in LESS time. There is NO concern, make it as easy as possible to see as many people as possible, pay your co pay and take a number. Do your really want to be like that? Do you have to?