Going out-of-network is a daunting yet exciting idea for many doctors around the country today. With the new Affordable Care Act, it is a higher priority for some and a necessity for others. Regardless of the reason, with a strategic plan dropping insurance is a very realistic option for a doctor of any specialty.
A cash based practice is nothing new to dentists, dermatologists or plastic surgeons. Although many are still partially insurance-based, these aesthetic specialties have been utilizing online marketing to successfully generate business for almost two decades.
Nowadays, it is no longer just aesthetic physicians looking to move to a cash-based model. It is possible for any specialty from ENT to Urology to Orthopedic Surgery. Whether taking a practice into the ‘concierge medicine’ arena, just going out-of-network or moving to a 100% cash based business model, online marketing is the foundation.
When a practice drops insurance, an immediate impact is felt by the loss of many referring physicians as well as existing patients. So instead of changing everything overnight, this transition should be done slowly with a very coordinated campaign.
A very robust online presence is required to ensure a large flow of patients are coming directly from the internet. This means everything from having a beautiful user-friendly responsive website, to a robust search-engine-optimization (SEO) campaign, to social media, to online reputation management and video marketing. If a concierge practice is desired, then an even more robust marketing strategy is needed to bring in the type of patients who are willing to spend an upfront fee to have more access and a higher level of care.
The inflow of patients from the internet does not come overnight, but once it is established a practice can receive anywhere from 50%-75% of its patients directly from the internet.
Once this is achieved, based on a financial analysis of insurance reimbursements the practice can start by dropping the lowest paying carrier. In California often times this is Blue Cross / Blue Shield. Making sure communications to referring physicians, existing patients and new patients through every medium (phone, email, fax and internet) are handled correctly is crucial.
In the end, if a comprehensive plan is followed the results of going out-of-network with health insurance can be extremely rewarding. Many of Goldman Marketing Group’s clients find that they are able to see less patients, perform more surgeries, make a higher gross profit and have a better quality of life.
If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please contact us today.