I. Questions to Answer
1. What business are we in?
2. How do patients, MCOs, hospitals, and other physicians view our practice?
3. How will we communicate with these publics about our practice, our services, and
II. Data Sources and Applications
1. Practice records of marketing eorts undertaken; patient and customer satisfaction
III. Issues/Problems to Explore
1. What business are we in—what is the purpose for the practice?
2. What are the best ways to communicate with our public?
is chapter is the heart of a business plan. Physicians, like other professionals, have always mar-
keted themselves—the only dierence is in the manner and degree.
Marketing is not advertising. Marketing consists of four key elements:
1. Product: e scope of the services you provide
2. Price: Your charge master, special pricing, and discounts
3. Place: Where you oer your services—your oce locations, hospitals, surgical centers, and
4. Promotion: Activities to communicate with your customers; includes advertising, public rela-
tions, promotions, special events, and the like
In this chapter, you are asked to answer the fundamental question to a business plan: what busi-
ness are we in? Are you a specialty practice? If the answer is yes, then do you limit your practice to
certain kinds of patients or accept all comers?
You are also asked to do what many nd very dicult—nd out what others think about you.
Satisfaction studies are not truly scientic in nature, yet when done well, they will reveal insights
66 ◾ Medical Practice Business Plan Workbook, Third Edition
into how patients and referring physicians interact with your practice (which includes the physi-
cians and your sta). When your public identies diculties in interacting with you, that is your
ag that you have a problem in your internal operating procedures. en you are asked to develop
your strategies to reach your customers and to develop the patient and referral base that will con-
stitute the practice you want to have.
1. What business are we in?
2. Summarize the ndings of patient satisfaction study:
3. Summarize the key ndings of referring physician satisfaction study:
4. Summarize the ndings of quality of care indicators report from MCOs.
5. Describe the unique or compelling reasons why your customers—patients, managed care
plans, hospitals, referring physicians, and others—would/should choose your practice over
Marketing ◾ 67
6. Marketing strategy:
a. Who are we trying to reach? Identify any specic groups that you want to develop for
b. How will you reach MCOs?
c. How will you reach employers?
d. How will you reach others?
7. How do we reach them? Describe the methods that are most eective:
a. Check o which media are to be used for promotion of each major service:
YouTube or other Video site
68 ◾ Medical Practice Business Plan Workbook, Third Edition
Television over air and
b. Assess your image among the public:
Quality of care
Fairness of fees
Marketing ◾ 69
8. Assess your areas of advantage over competition:
9. Assess your areas of weakness as compared to competition:
10. Assess the areas of competitive activity:
11. Assess the market opportunities for your practice to pursue:
12. Describe image you wish to achieve:
13. Describe the steps you will take to support this image:
14. Describe the marketing/advertising message or theme: