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Your Doctor Referral Patterns Are Changing at Light Speed

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

speedometerAre you pretending that your professional referral stream is “business as usual?” Let me tell you about an experience that just might be an abrupt wakeup call.

At an oncology conference recently, I spoke with a Healthcare Success client who attended one of my keynote presentations. The topic, of course, was about effective marketing in an increasingly competitive market.

The doctor told me that in the past, they did quite well without marketing for professional referrals. But after my talk, he realized (shocked might be a better word) that everything they rely on, and take for granted, is changing.

It was downright frightening for him to realize that the referring doctors—the lifeblood source of their business—were disappearing. Referring practices are being bought or merged into hospitals, being run out of business by intense competition, retiring or moving.

All of this change was happening at breathtaking speed—virtually overnight in some instances, and often with little or no advance warning.

And, while the rapidly shifting competitive landscape was troubling, the doctor confessed that there was an even greater risk in this scenario. It seems that the medical group—individually and collectively—has been worried about this for a while…but they have not taken any action.

In short, they recognize the speeding train bearing down on them, but they have yet to do anything about it. My keynote address reminded this doctor to get serious about doctor referral marketing and patient direct marketing before they get into a full-fledged crisis.

Sadly, this isn’t a unique situation...

Healthcare reform has caused dramatic market upheavals nearly everywhere. Perhaps these decision-makers are stuck somewhere in the Kübler-Ross model of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. But, like it or not, the reality is that doctor referrals are changing forever.

What’s more, this change is happening at light speed. It’s significantly better to act now—before you reach crisis mode—and implement an action plan. Delay or denial makes it exceedingly difficult or impossible to achieve meaningful results.

For many, it’s a survival plan. If you’d like to have a “reality talk” about what’s happening in your market, and what you can do today, give us a call at
800-656-0907. Right now is fine.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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