If the doctors in your practice have been practicing for a while, odds are you’ve already got listings in the Vitals.com and Healthgrades.com, the largest online physician directories.  However, there’s no guarantee that those listings are correct — in fact, it is not unusual for these sites to contain incorrect details such as defunct addresses and phone numbers grabbed from older public resources.  The listing for one physician we worked with recently even had the medical school he attended incorrect.

The good news is, it is usually easy to ‘claim’ your listings on these sites using their automated self-identification processes.  Once you’ve claimed your listing, you can change all the details — and add others that can help promote your practice, such as a photo and a link to your website.

Besides checking out your physician rating site listings, the start of a new year is a great time to review your health plan directories as well.  Make sure that you’re listed properly in all the plans you accept — including verifying the ‘accepting new patients’ information.  And, don’t forget to check that you’ve been removed from directories of plans that you’ve dropped — to avoid any out-of-network surprises for patients that can turn into uncollectible bills for your practice.

And don’t forget about Google+ (aka Google Places) — this easy to use listing process is a great way to get additional exposure for your practice and its website, with a link back, space for photos and the opportunity to add custom text about your practice and your philosophy.  Customized listings stand out dramatically versus unedited ones — and it’s all free!

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