One of the biggest reasons independent medical practices choose to be acquired by larger health systems is to alleviate the burden of marketing to grow the business. Understandably so. After all, as a physician, you most likely chose your profession to serve others, not to manage marketing projects and the associated administrative red tape. It can be difficult to know how to help your independent practice thrive.
In recent years—even before COVID—the number of hospital-owned physician practices was on the rise, and the pandemic simply accelerated the trend. Faced with increasing regulatory and compliance measures, billing and collections struggles, and insurance battles for payment, it’s not surprising that trading your independence to resolve these problems seems rather appealing at times.
However, high-performing independent practices like yours have found ways to continue to stay ahead of the curve and thrive despite the challenges they face. Is remaining as an independent practice a win-win for you and your patients? Can you continue to offer the best service to patients in your local community and grow your practice all while enjoying your work as a physician and earning the income you deserve?
If you would like to stand your ground and continue to operate as an independent healthcare practice, but you need new ways to handle the marketing headaches that come with owning your dental, orthopedics, ophthalmology, or other medical practice, we can help. If you’re considering what’s best for your practice, we invite you to consider the following four benefits of remaining independent.
1. Create better patient relationships.
Managing your own practice means you can do things the way you want. This type of autonomy also means you have the ability to establish closer connections with patients since you can spend as much time as needed with each individual. You can get to know their health history, their family members, and see as many or as few patients as you’d like each day.
2. Experience less burnout.
Largely as a result of building more meaningful doctor-patient relationships, independent practice physicians tend to have lower burnout rates than those working in large medical facilities. Lower burnout usually means greater job satisfaction and higher quality of life for healthcare physicians, both personally and professionally.
3. Earn more money.
According to a recent study, physicians who owned a healthcare practice or were partners in a private practice earned an average of $52,000 more per year than physicians employed by hospitals, universities, or medical clinics. That’s a significant difference! In addition to being your own boss and having time to focus on patient care and outcomes, you are financially rewarded for providing vital services to your community.
4. Live where you want to practice.
Hospitals and large healthcare systems are often located in densely populated metropolises. If city life isn’t appealing to you and your family, you can establish an independent practice or private partnership wherever you want to live, or wherever you want your kids to grow up.
The possibilities are nearly limitless regarding location when you own your own practice. And the advantage of being new to a potentially underserved area is that you can establish yourself as a highly rated physician—the local expert in your field—for patients who need your services.
Marketing your practice is challenging.
Once you establish your independent practice, or resolve to remain independent, how do you grow your practice and continue to attract high-value patients? You must become proficient in today’s digital marketing landscape to meet prospective and current patients where they spend their time—online.
In today’s digital world, 71% of patients read online reviews about providers as their first step in finding a new doctor. Based on current patient reviews, does your provider reputation reflect the outstanding level of care you offer? Do you even have enough reviews to make a good impression for those searching online for your services?
An equally important question: Do you have the time, expertise, and resources to devote to managing your online reputation, and all the other digital marketing tasks that are essential for the success of your independent practice? If not, don’t panic.
SocialClimb helps independent practices thrive.
If these questions seem overwhelming to you, or if they are why you have considered merging with a larger healthcare organization, SocialClimb can help. It’s our mission to help independent practices like yours not only stay afloat, but be able to buy a bigger boat.
Where do you begin? Since provider reputation is extremely important to patients searching for your practice online, you need to get more great reviews from patients. In addition, you should build your brand through reputation management and paid ads, while boosting your practice’s online visibility in Google searches.
We understand all of these challenges. As experts in helping independent practices thrive , we’ve built a platform to help you manage and track your digital marketing campaigns so you can grow your business. On our HIPAA-compliant platform allows you to handle everything on this list and more:
- Improve practice and provider reputation
- Build and send brand and search ads
- Auto-send review invitations
- Manage and respond to reviews
- Optimize and manage Google Business Profiles (formerly GMB listings)
- Identify and acquire high-value patients with predictive targeting
- Track calls to see which marketing efforts prompted action
- Measure your return on Investment (ROI)
Does it really work?
OrthoAlaska, one of the practices we work with, credits SocialClimb as the main driver behind a 43% increase in new patients since they started with us. They love how our platform automates their marketing tasks so their healthcare team can spend less time on marketing, yet still reap the benefits.
Cody Phillips, OrthoAlaska’s director of HR & marketing, notes that since working with SocialClimb, not only is the practice maintaining a presence, they are “very dominant” in their market. He says, “A lot of our most effective digital marketing is pretty hands-off at this point. No matter how busy I get, SocialClimb keeps working.” Read the full case study.
When you put SocialClimb to work for you, it gives you more time for building patient relationships and focusing on creating a great patient experience from their first contact with your practice to their last visit. Our platform allows you to track progress and measure your results, so you always know what’s working and any areas that need improvement.
With SocialClimb, you’ll know how and where you are spending your marketing budget so you can help your practice grow and even dominate your market because. If this sounds like a better way to manage your marketing tasks, alleviate some of the burdens, and keep your independent practice moving forward, we’d love to chat. We love to help independent practices thrive.