Want to grow your referral base? Visit other doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, chiropractors, and other medical professionals that could refer to you. Improve physician-to-physician outreach visits by being intentional in how you set up the visit and some pre/post-visit tactics.

Be clear when scheduling that meeting the physician is the purpose.  If it’s a lunch or breakfast, whoever is scheduling should make it clear (in a friendly way) that they are happy to provide a meal to the team and glad to meet everyone, but that your physician needs 5-10 minutes of face time with their physician(s). 

Try to schedule visits right before clinic or right before lunch when possible.  Avoid Mondays, Fridays, and at the end of clinic. 

Don’t pop in unless the doctor’s office allows unscheduled visits.  We find way better success with scheduled visits. This said, if you are comfortable cold-calling, you can see a lot more offices this way. We usually reserve drop-ins for offices that we can’t get an appointment scheduled.

Send the physician information 1-2 weeks prior to meeting with information and let them know you look forward to discussing on X date at X time.  You’d be shocked how many times a meeting or lunch is scheduled through the staff, but the physician doesn’t realize that another physician is coming to the office. Be sure they know you are coming.

Meet the doctor(s), mid-level providers, referral coordinator, and office manager.  Try to meet any other available staff as well, such as medical assistants and nurses.  Ask questions about what the practice needs first before selling your service.  Find out what they are looking for in treatment for their patients, what they want report-wise, and how you can work together.  Bring brochures (with address, specialties, what you treat, fax, ACO participation), business cards, and list of insurances accepted.  These make it easier for the referral coordinator.  Also, ask them if they need cards for referrals.  A decent number of offices still use business cards to make referrals, so be sure to stock them up.

Have branded material to leave behind after the visit.  A basket/box of cookies, granola bars, candy, or healthy snacks works well.  The package or the item itself should say the practice name and the physician’s name.  Use stickers to put those on everything from donut boxes to individual items.  

Send providers, referral coordinator, and office manager note after the visit thanking them for their time and mentioning how you think you can work together to improve the lives of patients. 

Continue to follow-up 1-3x per year in some way – a postcard, a note, a visit, a holiday gift.  Track your referrals from the providers to measure success. 

And, remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself. We can help with all of it! We can help you improve your physician outreach visits and all you have to do is show up!