Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Do you even new patients bros?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Do you even new patients bros?

    Dentists kill for new patients.  Many of us spend 3-6% of gross on marketing, offering deep discounts, routing new patient calls to cell phones, trying to get them in same or next day the latest.  We record our new patient phone calls, analyze them, pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to help improve conversions... and make sure every call is answered on the third ring THE LATEST!

    Do MDs even care?

    This week, my Achilles started acting up... I had bilateral tears 9-10 yrs ago, been pretty much asymptomatic ever since, but suddenly it started to hurt and I figured I should see someone.

    I call the nearest orthopedic office.  After going through a few prompts, I finally speak to someone who tells me "oh no, you need to call our new patient number.  Bye".

    I call the new patient number, have to leave a message.  They call me back while I'm with a patient, so I call them back.  Finally we connect, they can see me next week.

    I called a few more offices, spoke to a few clueless receptionists ("Yes, Dr.  X is a foot and ankle specialist, but I don't think he does Achilles, maybe you should call a podiatrist"), turned out the first office is actually the most professional and can see me the soonest.

    But the experience was pretty wild, and it took me an hour to actually make an appointment.

    I seem to have the same experience trying to see any kind of MD, other than my kids' pedo.

    Do MDs even care about new patients?  Or is the demand so high, you don't need to care?

    Typically, if a dental office is so swamped, the advice is to drop lowest paying insurances.  Lose a few patients, but raise per visit revenue, and increase profit.  Is this not done in medical practices?

  • #2
    They probably don’t need to do all that because pts are referred to them.

    I’m not very familiar with dentistry but I don’t think pts are referred to you guys, unless they are about to have heart valve surgery?

    Comment


    • #3
      I am employed by a hospital system.  We are not allowed to drop patients based on insurance.  Even if they do not pay their bills.

      I believe in being very loyal to my established patients.  If you call me sick I will see you the same day 95% of the time. Depending on the nature of the illness and the time of day it might be first thing in the morning.  I think it is silly how so many PCPs let easy visits slip through their fingers to urgent care.

      Because of this I really only have control of my new patients.  I schedule 1 a day. However before long that was out 6 months.  We are now closed and trying to catch up.

      6 months wait for a new PCP is common in my area.

       

      I am surprised you had that experience with ortho.  They seem eager to gobble up patients here.  Maybe your area is short of orthos?

      We have trouble with a lot of the other specialties

      Cardiology 2-3 months

      GI 2-3 months

      Pulm 6-8 months

      Endo 6 month

      Psych 6-8 months if ever

      Rheum 6-8 months if they accept.  They usually just say no thanks.

       

      Comment


      • #4
        Physicians trying to grow a practice act the same way, but let's be honest, such a large percentage of physicians are employees with employee/resident mentality and a large percentage of the self-employed already have plenty of work so there is little incentive there.

        Wait times for neurology around here are 6 months and you may never get in to rheum. And pediatric subspecialties? Just be glad there is one in town.
        Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

        Comment


        • #5
          The Hospital is always marketing for more business but as contracted specialists, with a mostly captive clientele, we would just as happy is volume stayed the same. Many of us are later in our careers and not interested in working any harder or longer than we are now. If business grew 20% overnight, we would be hard pressed to find new rads to get the work done. That said, we would not turn anyone away, either.

           

          Comment


          • #6
            Our practice :

            -Same day, go to our walk in clinic.
            -Visit with a newer orthopod, probably next available office day or even same day
            -Visit with the orthopod everyone knows in town, maybe 4-6 weeks
            -visit this week possibly with the well known orthopod, have a confirmed MRI with Achilles tear that needs surgery

            One phone number, answered usually within 2-3 minutes is the goal.

            We advertise for new patients as we are competing with the hospital systems hiring their own ortho, however as private practice we probably spend $1-200k total per year

            Comment


            • #7
              “I call the nearest orthopedic office. “

              A lot depends upon how you search and how flexible you are in location.
              Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Care is your target.
              •A PP group will probably have one or two fellowship trained physicians. They may cover several office locations as well. One or two days per week at that office at most.
              •If time is important, call a healthcare group for large hospital system. The question is which Foot & Ankle specialist is available soonest and at what location.
              • This is the time of year new attendings are on boarding. Broader scope until they start trimming to the types of practice and locations they cover.
              Anecdotally, it’s “hungry” until the workload is built up and then narrow the focus. (like I do hip preservation and replacements for example).
              • No comment on the office staff, most referrals come from hospital or other physicians. Not from phone calls.
              •Just a suggestion, the fishing isn’t “best” at the nearest lake. The larger healthcare organizations are setup to handle requests like yours a lot better.
              • For Peds specialties, about the only way to go. PP business model has a difficult time maintaining volumes.

              Comment


              • #8
                An office that cares about your health will take great efforts to accommodate your healthcare needs, new patient or established. Keep looking, don't settle for mediocrity. The office staff often reflects the attitudes of the provider. Quality efficient health care yields better finances anyway.

                However busy we are, we try to keep some open slots for same and next day appointments. A sinus infection, uncontrolled blood sugars and other conditions can't wait a week. Smaller solo or group practices are more likely to be best for you. If I see 20 patients a day, that's optimal for me. If I have to see 30 or 35 on any given day to accommodate, I have no problem working another 2-3 hours that day, even through lunch. Mid-levels also help with overflow for patients who like them. That's the difference. When I refer to specialists, the independents and new docs are generally more engaging and provide more satisfactory services. This is one of the factors that led me to leave a multispecialty group employer for a more satisfactory private practice.

                When you see the provider, you can see their passion for their profession in their engagement and in the attitudes of their staff. If they seem robotic, disconnected, minimalist keep looking. A primary you trust can help steer you best to the right specialist for you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We've had variable experiences as patients.  Solo or private group doctor is usually pretty easy to setup appointment but the more corporate the doctor, the harder it got.  Dentists, optometrists, etc. were similar (though maybe not quite as bad) but that's also one of the reasons why I prefer going to solo or small group doctors as much as I can.  But generally I think most docs don't need the patients, at least not to that extent. Maybe in something elective like plastics you'd see that.  I know some who've done the whole marketing bit in their early career but depending on specialty not always directly to consumer but to pcp's for referrals. I know plenty older established docs still doing it, fishing for referrals, sending thank you gifts, etc.

                  Comment


                  • #10




                    An office that cares about your health will take great efforts to accommodate your healthcare needs, new patient or established. Keep looking, don’t settle for mediocrity. The office staff often reflects the attitudes of the provider. Quality efficient health care yields better finances anyway.

                    However busy we are, we try to keep some open slots for same and next day appointments. A sinus infection, uncontrolled blood sugars and other conditions can’t wait a week. Smaller solo or group practices are more likely to be best for you. If I see 20 patients a day, that’s optimal for me. If I have to see 30 or 35 on any given day to accommodate, I have no problem working another 2-3 hours that day, even through lunch. Mid-levels also help with overflow for patients who like them. That’s the difference. When I refer to specialists, the independents and new docs are generally more engaging and provide more satisfactory services. This is one of the factors that led me to leave a multispecialty group employer for a more satisfactory private practice.

                    When you see the provider, you can see their passion for their profession in their engagement and in the attitudes of their staff. If they seem robotic, disconnected, minimalist keep looking. A primary you trust can help steer you best to the right specialist for you.
                    Click to expand...


                    We talk about the concept of “enough” in asset accumulation, just about every week here. Why is it not equally applicable to income generation and practice volume, too? Can a physician not be content to do a decent job with the work on his/her plate, without always striving for more, without getting bigger and growing the practice, without potentially compromising the quality job with the full panel of work that one already is committed?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Private practice consulting groups kinda put it in to your head that you loose 10-15% of your patient base every year for various reasons. Couple that with declining reimbursements, inflation of costs, you need certain percentage of new patients each year just to stay even. I am with molar roller and quite often front desk staff are under trained and there is a lot more job hopping in that space.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        “Mid-levels also help with overflow for patients who like them. “
                        “Solo or private group doctor is usually pretty easy”

                        Foot & Ankle orthopedic specialist needs clinic volumes.
                        Based on your recommendations, how many can you find in your city? Group less than 10 with same day or next day availability for an issue that’s 10 years old.

                        The choices in ortho are basically cut or pt. Do you think you would rely on a PA’s or NP’s diagnosis? Different functions, not the same as FM. FM relies on repeat customers, ortho hopes to never see them again. Different business model completely.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes Vagabond, my 20 patients a day ideal number is probably similar to what other PCP's would consider ideal. Not a fan of the primaries that routinely schedule much more. They likely cannot have open slots to accommodate urgent visits, and the limited time with their patients would risk compromising quality, as can the inability to access your provider altogether.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A new patient to a dentist is like a surgical patient to an orthopedic subspecialist. I don’t make money on office visits, I make money on surgical cases (ok, I make a tiny amount on office visits compared to surgical cases). When you call an orthopedist and say “I’m having pain in my heel”, that doesn’t sound imminently surgical. It sounds like something that needs to see a PA who can recommend NSAIDs, PT, and a heel insert for 6 weeks before further workup needs to be done, and then a small chance of actually needing surgery.

                            But if I book the “acute heel pain” into my (MD) clinic, then I can’t see the person who calls with an ankle fracture, or something that does need surgery right away.

                            Comment


                            • #15


                              “Yes, Dr.  X is a foot and ankle specialist, but I don’t think he does Achilles, maybe you should call a podiatrist”),
                              Click to expand...


                              Yikes, that receptionist needs a lot of training. Or needs to find a different job. I would be furious if any of my staff said something like this.

                              Molar Roller, I'm an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon. I can see you this afternoon. How soon can you get to the midwest?!

                              I'm constantly trying to make it easier for patients to get in to see us. It can be a battle.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X