Many medical practices we work with focus their marketing efforts (if they do marketing at all!) on physicians who refer to them and direct communication with their existing patients.  Yet there is another marketing channel that can be extremely effective for physicians that is often overlooked: your area’s major employers.

It’s common to assume that simply participating in an employer’s health plan is sufficient to reach the potential patients that work there.  But, if you’re in a competitive area, you might need to differentiate yourself against dozens of other physicians — personal outreach to employees is a way to help them choose you.  Moreover, you can’t necessarily count on the health plan to promote itself effectively to your patient base.

Many employers will also consider wellness programs in the coming year, because the Affordable Care Act promises to provide financial incentives for qualifying programs by 2014.  Practices that create wellness programs for local employers can simultaneously market themselves to employers and prospective patients, provide valuable wellness information and training to their community, and position themselves as key wellness program providers as attention and support for this type of effort grows.  (What kinds of programs might qualify?  Some possibilities include non-discriminatory diagnostic or health improvement programs like tools for coping with and preventing repetitive strain injuries; healthy weight management; voluntary health screenings.)

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