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Should I market for a specific specialty?

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aceprocessing

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Marketing
« on: January 21, 2010, 10:45:34 AM »
Hello,

I am starting a home based billing business and working on my marketing. I have been marketing for approx 4 months now and have yet to nab a client. I am considering taking courses to specialize in Mental Health. I wanted to know if it would be more advantageous to market a specific specialty or to continue doing general marketing as to not limit myself on acquiring a client in any specialty?

Thank you,
Alicia Acosta
Ace Processing Medical Claims Billing Service
www.ace-processing.com

Meli

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2010, 02:02:16 PM »
Hi Alicia,

Don't limit yourself to one specialty.  I've been marketing since October 09 and have 1 client so far.  Marketing isn't easy and there is no line of providers just waiting for us to reach out to them but as one doctor I cold called told me yesterday, "Keep reaching out to doctors, there is a need."  Needless to say his words were very encouraging since he was my 40th call of the day.  Keep going and good luck!

Melissa
Melissa Turner, CPMB
Mainstream Services Inc.
www.msmbinc.com

MBP

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2010, 07:32:17 PM »
in your marketing, are you just trying to come across a provider who wants to switch or are you actually trying to find out what they have now and tell them you will give them more services, reports, etc or lower price.. or so? i am going to be starting marketing soon.. 40 calls a day? gosh.. do you actually get to talk to the providers or just their staff? good luck!!!

dfranklin

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 02:01:47 AM »
You want to market to only those that you can follow up on.  It is about maintaining a presence and trying to build a relationship.  The best is to go in person and have a conversation with the staff and most importantly with the Office Manager.  Even if they don't bite then and flat out say no, you still want to keep in touch whether you drop by and drop off a goodie or piece of education, or make a phone to just check in or send them a little note. Doing this will keep you on top of mind so that you are the first person they think of when they have a need that you can fill.  Or when they hear someone else with a need you are who comes to mind and they refer you to them. It does take time but be persistant and consistant and it will eventually pay off.

Meli

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  • Melissa Turner
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Re: Marketing
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 09:40:13 AM »
Hi Erika,

When I call I am introducing myself to local providers or following up from visits or mailings.  I've stopped in offices, left information, candy bowls and new calendars for the year etc. (all with my information securely attached or displayed of course  :D) I agree with DFranklin.  You have to have a follow up plan.  I keep a spreadsheet with all the necessary information for each provider I contact, who I spoke with, if information was provided etc. and in another column I list if this provider/office should be contacted again and if so how (mail, phone, visit).  It also helps me keep up with conversations once a office calls me and to make sure I am not repeatedly contacting the same offices over and over again.  There is a method to the madness.  When I call an office I am speaking with the office staff and in some instances the provider themselves (especially true for therapists).  All in all I believe combined with all the marketing I listed above (phone, mail, in person visits) I have reached out to probably 500+ offices/providers.  Seems like a lot but unless there is a list of those in need of billing services that we can just call and sign its a hit or miss numbers thing.

As far as the conversation I have with them I start by asking how their current billing is going, any challenges they face, something they need or wish they could have that they don't now and things of that nature.  I talk about my strengths and the services I offer.  I do not try to compare myself to their current biller or refer to them at all.  I offer a consultation and to do an analysis of their current billing.  I believe if the need is there and I am given the opening to expose it the provider will see and make an informed decision if a change is necessary but I don't want to speak negatively about another service or anything because I don't think its necessary.  You know that whole what's in the dark will come to the light thing.  LOL  Good luck with your marketing!

Melissa
Melissa Turner, CPMB
Mainstream Services Inc.
www.msmbinc.com

PMRNC

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 01:02:00 PM »
4 Months is not really that long, I like what the others had to say. Hang in there and only market as much as you can follow up with (phone or in person) I did not do one method, I did cold-calling, follow-up, survey's, and even responded to classified ad's. It can take a billing company a year or more to land that first one, it really varies. I use a contact management software to track my marketing and I keep things "personal" in the way I address the materials I send. For example I use multi colored envelopes and hand write my envelopes and I try to obtain the office managers name if possible. I will also contact some of those I have mailed to and try to introduce myself over the phone by maybe offering a tid-bit or tip on certain things specific to my state or to that specialty. For example I do specialize in Mental health but I also do pediatrics and GP, I have been contacting mental health practices to remind them about the new parity laws and give them the down side to it and how to distinguish whether or not a patient will have the parity benefits available or NO mental health benefits available. I also contacted GP offices about the H1N1 and the various ways carriers were reimbursing. There's also HITECH and even getting them to talk about what the ramifications will be if the Senate passes the Health reform bill.

This is a great time to market.. Many doctors are scared about this pending bill and what it will mean to them. Do your research and give them options!!
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

MBP

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010, 01:12:02 PM »
Melissa, i see. i hope i will, too, have this method to the madness :D

Linda, what do you think will happen if the senate passes the health reform bill? how will it affect us and providers? i try to read as much as possible about all updates that i find, but i still feel i am way behind with all the changes and new regulations to be able to sell myself based on my knowledge.. i sure cant answer the question about effects of the reform on reimbursement and billing..

PMRNC

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2010, 01:27:46 PM »
In my opinion you are going to see two different extremes. You will have the doctors that are going to make a stand and opt out of all insurance plans or the govt option plan and Medicare. There WILL be Medicare cuts and employers WILL be getting premium increases which could also indicate loss of benefits, changes in plans to the govt sponsored plan, etc. The other extreme will be the doctors who will stay in the plans they are with BUT will see rate cuts and with that make cut backs in their office. This is why I think it's a PRIMO time to market and if you are not reading up and keeping up with this..you are MISSING out. On the average I am TAKING calls and talking to 10-12 physicians a day on this ONE issue. In my area I am finding many doctors are really upset with the AMA's endorsement and I have talked to many who have discontinued membership with the AMA and will be backing out of Medicare and other carriers and will not par with the govt run plan. Whether they will be responsible for billing is still up in the air IF it passes. (or as I like to say, if it's rammed up our....) What I do know is that the govt will NOT be able to force providers to par with this so-called govt option, doctors have been screwed by Medicare and Medicaid for years and to think they want another govt run program is ludicrous!  With BOTH scenario's you will see patients moving to ER's for care, or simply not going to the doctor because less and less doctors are going to go along with it. Those that do will have to make cut backs in their offices but they will see an increase in patient volume to make up for the loss revenue, many times this means they will cut staff which means they would be more likely to "outsource"

Again, there are going to be many domino's falling.. IF this thing gets passed.  I've been asked by many if I read all 1000 + pages.. and the answer is YES I have, which is more than I can say about the Senate! I highlights and notes all over the place.. .and there are many changes/suggestions that were never openly disclosed that NO one has got to read or learn about. I took the PDF version that was up on the net for a while and took it to Kinko's .. LOL I started to print it here and said.. Oh this is not going to work. <g>  I also got myself those little mini flags and have notes on pages where I think us billers will see change.. This is where it might be hard for some of us. AS a medical billing company I can see this being a great thing for us.. however as an American, I'm not one bit happy about this and as someone who also represents physicians I have to somewhat curtail my opinions with providers who are indeed in favor of it. (though I've not spoken to many that are happy about it,  maybe a handful)  Overall providers are probably JUST as upset as the rest of the working class American Citizen is and if not more so!

PERSONALLY SPEAKING ..  I DO NOT HIDE THE FACT that I did not vote for that idiot but I did try to give him the benefit of the doubt when he was elected... and now all I can say is "I called it".  Pelosi, Reid and Obama need to go along with the others cramming this bill through.   I could go on and give you all the reasons why this is going to be a disaster not to mention a big breach of our constitutional rights..but I'll spare you my rant for now.
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

Michele

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2010, 09:21:32 PM »
Linda,

     All I'm going to say is "AMEN". 

Michele
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jcbilling

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2010, 10:29:35 PM »
I second that :)

DMK

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2010, 10:42:30 AM »
It's SO refreshing to read an educated, informed, civil opinion on Govt Health Care!  Linda, too bad they consult you when they came up with this "great" idea.  My husband is a provider and we've been having this discussion with our patients in the office often.  Our take is that the people who want "free" health care think they will be able to walk in anywhere and get whatever they want with no paperwork and no cost.  HA!  Look how tough Medicare is when you know the rules!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that enough people scream loud enough to make their representatives know that we know there's no free lunch! (Except at Denney's on your birthday!)

I sound like a broken record, but I really appreciate this forum and the knowledge to be gained and passed on!

Dina

PMRNC

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2010, 12:23:29 PM »
I am advising my clients to do what is right for their practice and their bottom line. That will include helping them opt out of Medicare, and Medicaid. Doctors are in a position here to take a stand and make the statement they need to make to remind our government that doctors are also IN BUSINESS. Our government is taking it for granted that physicians will want to deal with YET another govt run policy that reduces their rates and consumes their time. What's worse is the AMA and the AARP are backing this with small provisions that they don't want to see the rate decrease.. so they settle for a delay until March and throw in their support?? They threw their members under the bus for a measly 2 month extension!!! Infuriating!

Wow I cannot imagine marketing today without talking healthcare reform..I REPEAT.. this is a FANTASTIC time to market!!
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

QueenAlicia

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Re: Marketing
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2010, 01:25:12 PM »
Amen Linda!  Sometimes the government needs to take a back seat and stop forcing things on the American people and their MONEY!