How to grow your practice in tough economic times

The negative economic impact of the Pandemic is forcing many patients to choose between paying their daily bills and going to the doctor for non -life threatening conditions. According to, elective procedures in the U.S. were down 30% - 55% in 2020.

What does this mean to you? Well, it simply means you have to develop a plan to replace that lost revenue. Here are a couple of ideas to consider:


We have all heard a great deal about telehealth in the past year (the American Academy of Family Physicians distinguishes between telemedicine and telehealth. Telehealth is considered to be the technology used to provide distance care and telemedicine is utilizing that technology to deliver care from a distance, according to the academy.)

Currently, approximately 75% of physicians utilize telemedicine in their practice, up from only 4% prior to the pandemic. Most payors have relaxed restrictions on telemedicine, making it easier to access and get reimbursed for. If you are one of the 25% not using telemedicine you should consider it soon.

Marketing/patient acquisition activities:

All medical specialties can benefit from an effective marketing or other type of patient outreach program.

To be clear, practice marketing is not simply a list of marketing or advertising ideas from which you randomly select a few to test through trial-and-error. That is really just random, mud-on-the-wall marketing, which is offers high risk and low return.

Practice marketing is an organized strategy that is designed to achieve specific business goals over a specific time period, that is measurable. It is not simply scheduling an occasional patient screening or newspaper ad; it is an overall strategy that can encompass advertising, physician referrals, patient referrals & outreach events, as well as internet based in-bound marketing initiatives.

Perhaps the MOST effective marketing tool in this economy is an effective In-Bound Marketing Program. Simply put, In-Bound Marketing is defined as creating an environment in which your potential new patients can find you easily on the web. Consider the following:

  1. Inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a cost per patient 61% lower than outbound marketing-dominated organizations.
  2. The difference between inbound and outbound marketing expenditures grew by 50% from 2017-2019.
  3. 62% of clinics said that social media had become more important as a source of ne patient in the past 6 months.
  4. Medical clinics are increasingly aware their regular monthly email patient newsletter is highly valuable. 81% rated their newsletter as "useful", "important" or "critical". An impressive 25% rated their patient newsletter as critical to their business success.

Speaking of a patient newsletter, did you know a newsletter provides the lowest acquisition cost per patient available? Your existing patients are often your best source of referrals, new patients and procedures. If you’re not utilizing this valuable tool, you're missing out on the biggest growth opportunity available for your practice.

Ancillary treatments/procedures:

Have you considered adopting a new procedure? We are living in the most technologically advanced period of medical care in history; new office-based procedures or treatments are being developed at a rapid rate and there are several that might fit in well with your practice. Have you considered cosmetic procedures? Weight Loss? Varicose Vein treatment? You do not need to be constrained by your current specialty and past training. Bringing a new procedure into your practice can bring new patients in the door... and bring former patients back.

These are just a few ideas that might be helpful to your practice. The key to success in tough times is to keep an open mind and consider new activities and treatment options that you might not have considered in the past.