What Physicians need to know about Yelp.com

Recently HMCOE’s three new doctors for reputation management program were severely affected by Yelp reviews. Please read these articles to familiarize yourself with Yelp’s unethical tactics and how they defame doctors and their medical practices 

How Online Patient Reviews Impact New Patient Volume

Doctors have become targets of many internet companies. Instead of selling to them, offering them valuable services, most doctors are simply “suckered” into establishing profiles on these companies’ websites. Being selective about where your name is published is extremely important. Why? Because that’s what your patients see when they Google you.

If you’re seeing out-of-network patients or have a fee-for-service practice. Your online reputation means everything.

Doctors have also started to deal with the inevitable change in people’s behaviors. With the onset of patient reviews on Yelp, Angies List, Citysearch and all the prominent Doctor Review sites it’s never been more important to get a doctor’s reputation in order.

Here are some of the biggest reasons how online patient reviews impact new patient volume

Reviews of the most popular Physician Directories Online

Most physicians don’t realize what they’re doing when subscribing to physician directories.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes doctors make when they pay for a listing on physician directories: Review of Physician Directories

Doctor Review Sites – 50 Physicians Review Most Popular Ratings Sites

In our most recent workshop in New York, 50 of the attending doctors were asked to review doctor-ratings sites according to the benefit they may have for the doctors. It was very clear that most did not even come close.

Perhaps it’s time to start caring where your Name is Published?

Here’s the Doctors’ Reviews

Reputation Management For Doctors

Doctor, have you Googled your name lately?

You’d be surprised what you find out. This is also how patients check for YOUR references. In the cases of patients seeking elective services, have out of network benefits, or are going to pay cash out of pocket the behavior of cross-referencing physician ratings sites approaches 100%.

The implications? Fixing online reputation for physicians can be the biggest $ROI for their practice. Keeping it fresh and up-to-date will be key, but making sure you don’t have negative reviews affecting your patient volumes is key.

Please note: this affects hospital-based doctors just as much as independent practitioners. 

Physician Ratings – Are Patient Review Sites Fair?

There are now more than 100 patient review sites now affected how physicians are rated. Every month it seems more and more are joining the crowd. What do they all have in common? – They Own Your Name

Here’s one doctor’s story on how “fairly” his reputation is being tarnished by patient review sites.

How many doctors in your area are actual competitors?

Medical Marketing in New York

Medical Marketing in New York

How many doctors in your area are true competitors? – You’ll be very surprised

I recently held a medical marketing seminar in November 2011 for 12 dermatologists in a 10 mile radius. It was arranged by a dermatologist in New York City who was fed up with the high costs of running his practice and wanted to explore banding together to form a community rather than a growing an increasingly competitive marketplace.

I informed the doctor that although I’ll set up the meeting place and the workshop it will be up to him to pick up the phone and speak with them directly. By doing so, all 12 dermatologists showed up for the medical marketing seminar. It turns out they all had difficulty in seeing new patients.

  • Step 1: In the first 5 minutes I went around the room asking the doctors what their sub-specialty in dermatology was. Only two of them had the same sub-specialty, but they already work together in the same office. So there were 11 practices completely different from each other to start with.
  • Step 2: I asked about the amount of money they spend per year on marketing their practices. The average was about $75,000 Here’s the interesting part: they were spending the money on promoting the entire dermatology specialty, not one was promoting their actual expertise. There was no differentiation between their campaigns. They were all competing for the same patients in a 10 mile radius. For the patients it was confusing as well, and chances are that they would rather travel above a 10 mile radius to see a sub-specialist rather than a general dermatologist.
  • Step 3: I ran a 30 minute workshop simply reviewing each doctor’s website and showing how to improve their medical webistes to leverage their subspecialty and arranged office training sessions for each practice.

2 months later, all 11 practices had new patients for their expertise. Medical Marketing and advertising costs went down by 80% and these doctors actually started referring patients to each other for the first time in their careers.

Do you know who are your competitors … and if they actually are competitors? Call us at (646) 648 – 1355 or email info@hmcoe.com to arrange a consultation about your region and specialty. What you learn may change the way you practice medicine.

The “Generic Practice” and Competing for the Same Patient

Have you wondered why some ultra-specialized practices have patient waiting times of several weeks for an appointment while others are barely seeing enough new patients to keep their doors open?

At HMCOE’s recent medical marketing seminar we had a group of 50 doctors, practice managers, and hospital center of excellence marketers discussing the increasing competitive marketplace and rampant problem of not getting enough new patients to doctors’ practices.

It was evident that we were suffering from the problem of “generic practice” – Every doctor in the crowd was basically the same. Gastroenterologist A’s medical marketing was the same as doctor B’s. It was the same message to the patients “Our doctors are experts at treating ALL GI conditions” … really? Would you choose the same doctor to consult on colon cancer as one that practices bariatric surgery for obesity?

It’s only natural that people have role models and want to be them. But to try to copy their identity and resell as your own is why health care is where it is now. Doctors pick their top competitors and tell their marketers “I want to have a website just like theirs.” Hospitals pick a COE and tell their marketers “we need our center to be better” but when the executive decisions come down the pipeline, the marketers are forced to accept direction to copy the other hospital’s work.

Our cocktail hour was spent on going around the room asking 50 individuals to decide what their top area of expertise was and to put together a plan for Monday morning to go back to work and communicate that patients are not looking for generic practices, but rather the opportunity to connect with experts.

Cost of hiring a full-time marketing associate for your medical practice in New York

We’ve been asked to share what doctors usually pay for an employed marketing associate at their medical practice (40 hours/week)

  1. College graduate with no experience in marketing a medical practice. Average in New York: $35,000. New Jersey – $25-$30,000. Issues to Consider: needs training, potential for lawsuit or negative feedback very high, well-recognized in NYC for spaghetti marketing (throwing something at the wall and seeing what sticks – very easily recognized as a turn-off for patients)
  2. MBA graduate with no experience in marketing a medical practice: $55,000 – best choice for an established, successful medical practice that needs long-term support and patient-retention. Consider: 1) there are no classes in medical practice marketing in MBA programs, it takes 3-4 months for integration 2) the lack of clinical knowledge in your specific field is a major shortcoming – expect 3 months for the MBA grad to get comfortable with terminology 4) the average MBA graduate or experienced medical marketer leaves a medical practice after 4-8 months for a better opportunity.

How can we help?

  • Jump-start your practice by hiring and training medical practice marketing associates that can truly make a difference even in the first month.
  • Train you and your practice manager how to invest in medical practice marketing associates and minimize the chances they will leave after a few months.
  • Our medical practice marketing workshops for new and established practices are a new offering in 2012. Take advantage and schedule one for you and your office staff. Call our medical practice marketing department today: (646) 648 – 1355

We also offer full-service outsourced marketing for your medical practice –  ***0% Financing Available for New Startup Practices and ones at risk of closing*** 

  • Internet Marketing: website design & development, advertising, social media
  • Print Marketing: Newspapers, business cards, brochures, etc.
  • TV, Radio – only once all of the above are satisfied
  • Referring Physician Campaigns
  • Thought Leader Development program

Medical Marketing Seminars in New York City

FREE medical marketing seminar for Doctors & Administrators in greater NYC area.

December 5th, 2012 in New York, NY

This event will cover:

  1. Patient Marketing via Internet, Radio, and Local Events
  2. Review of physician ratings and popular directories for doctors
  3. How to do proper referral marketing to other physicians
  4. Q&A session – send in your questions before the seminar

GET YOUR TICKET – Medical Marketing Seminar in New York City for Doctors, Administrators, Surgical Centers, and Hospitals