As discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, it’s not uncommon for patients to encounter barriers to treatment when seeking help for their musculoskeletal issues. The main reason for barriers to physical therapy treatment is the fact that many insurance carriers won’t authorize treatment unless it’s been prescribed by their family doctor. Unfortunately, this puts some pressure on PTs to get out there and pound the pavement. So in the third and final installation of this series, we’re going to share 3 more tips for increasing doctor referrals for your PT clinic.
Understand the mindset of a busy doctor
Family physicians seldom have spare time on their hands—much less when they’re being contacted by someone who they haven’t been formally introduced to.
Doctors’ offices receive sales calls all day long. People are cold calling from around the world to sell things like clinical supplies, IT services, and more. For this reason, the doctors themselves and their personnel may have their guard up, and they won’t have time to take your call. Which brings us to our next point.
Hint: Did you know that you can create profiles for ‘Physicians’ in Practice Perfect? Click here to watch the tutorial.
Get past the gatekeeper
When you consider our points about the mindset of a busy doctor, it’s easy to understand why their front desk staff are hesitant to connect you directly to the doctor. In the world of sales, we call these “gatekeepers”—and there’s no doubt about it: you’re selling yourself as their best option for physical therapy referrals.
Don’t be afraid to turn on the charm when you’re making contact with these doctors’ offices if it means that the front desk person will help you connect with the physician.
Involve the doctor in the patient’s treatment
Once you’ve earned the doctor’s trust and they’re sending you a steady stream of patients, you’ll want to ensure that it stays that way. A great way to do this is by involving them in your patient’s treatment.
To involve the physician in the patient’s treatment, you can try sending them regular reports documenting the patient’s journey. You’ll also want to get in touch with them if your patient is discharged—especially if they self-discharge. All of this helps the doctor build confidence in you by demonstrating that you’re committed to helping their patient recover.