#1 Program and Office Infrastructure 

MD Relationship Program

Consultation #70

 From the Desk of:

William J Owens Jr DC, DAAMLP, CPC

#19 “What is the Secret?”

The secret to the program is about building relationships.  I have talked extensively about how each phase of the MD relationship is a little different and each one has to be addressed as a separate and distinct process.  It is no different than a romantic relationship on the first date versus being married.  You are talking about very different things.  That is what is important, but the SECRET is the CHIROPRACTOR HAS TO BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP.  Staff can do 90% of the “set up,” but when it comes down to it, the referral is MD to DC, not MD to staff.  The staff’s job is to keep the office visible and manage the clinic’s reputation while the DC is building that relationship.

YOU WILL NOT SEE THE MD EVERY TIME and it is naive to expect to.  People are busy…How many times have you left a treatment room to meet someone at the front desk?  NEVER!  MDs will make time to meet with people that interest them and that have spent some time building a relationship.  Remember, the goal of the program is REFERRALS from MDs.  If you are getting those from an office you have won.  The next step is to continue to stay in front of them without slobbering all over them and ruining it.

Keep this in mind, a good primary care referral source will refer approximately 2-4 patients per month to your office.  A great one will provide 6-8 referrals per month.  In specialty care, a good pain management or surgical referral source will send 8-10 per month; a great one will send 10-15 per month.  Also keep in mind that the HARDEST referral to get is the 3rd one.  The MD will send the first to see what happens.  If he/she is unsure, he/she may send a second.  Once the third one comes, that is it…The tide has turned.  Now you need to work on building that relationship through clinical excellence and communication.  80% of your time will be spent getting to the 3rd referral, but once that starts to happen, you want to keep that 80% going to make sure that relationship lasts.  Too many DCs get that 3rd referral and then run off to the “new” MD offices and are on a treadmill of always trying to build a new relationship.  As a rule, have as many primary care offices as you can meet with.  There are thousands of them and they are everywhere.

Medical specialists, on the other hand, need to be handled differently.  I only have ONE orthopedic surgeon, ONE neurosurgeon, ONE pain management MD, ONE imaging center and ONE electrodiagnostic center that I refer patients to.  That is it. There is no way to build a solid relationship based on mutual referral without that focus.  The MRI company that I work with has introduced me to MDs because they want my CONTINUED business.  When you are a good source of referrals for them, they will help build you because that will mean growth for them.

Remember, it is about RELATIONSHIPS, not statistics.  In the end, it will be DC to MD and MD to DC.  Some MDs I speak with 2-3 times per year.  For others, it is weekly, some even daily.  When we were in the hospital clinics, the worst thing was to NOT walk down to the ER and specialty clinics.  The SECOND worst thing was to do it EVERY DAY.

BASE YOUR SUCCESS OR FAILURE ON WHETHER THE MD IS SENDING PATIENTS, NOT ON WHETHER YOU ARE MEETING WITH HIM/HER DIRECTLY.  Having him/her want to meet with you makes you feel good, but his/her sending you patients makes you money.{jcomments on}

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