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Maximizing A Physician Referral Network for Your Weight Loss Practice

Are you attracting enough patients to grow your medical practice’s revenue stream? Building a strong referral network is a critical aspect of ensuring your medical practice is successful. By setting up a referral network with other physicians in your community, you will be creating a mutually beneficial arrangement that can be the driving force for all your organizations. For obesity care, the benefit of setting up a referral network with other trusted professionals in your community makes perfect sense.

Working together as a team, will provide more comprehensive care for your patients. It will also provide better patient outcomes that can be directly linked to business opportunities for every healthcare provider within that spectrum and coordination of care. By creating a professional referral network with regular meetings, you will ensure the group will continue to work together in the best interest of the patients within the community.

Network referral meetings should be held once per month to ensure adequate time for monthly goals to be met. Normally this would be a meeting in person but in-the-midst of a pandemic, it may be better to work on a platform like Zoom.

Here are 6 tips to get started with organizing your own physician referral network:

1. Start a list of professionals in your community who have referred patients to you before and you feel are trustworthy (Primary Care Physicians, Cardiologists, Gastroenterologists, Endocrinologists, Behavior Therapists/Psychologists, DOs, Orthopedic physicians, Chiropractors, others). Start with this list and expand to other practices in the community who are non-competing. Look for practices that do a fantastic job of marketing their practice and received positive ratings from current and previous patients. Keep in mind, that the more names you have on the list, the more opportunities you will have for a continuous revenue stream and positive business growth.

2. Reach out to each of these physicians on your network list and arrange a meeting in person or if not possible, then on the phone or video conferencing. Ask them to become members of the referral network.  Be convincing but not to “salesy” that you scare off a potential member, as you’ll want to start with a good number of physicians in the network in case some members drop out over time.

3. Once you have your physician network established the next step will be to schedule the introductory meeting for the network. Agree to meet everyone at one of the practice locations or perhaps a library, coffee house, or private meeting room. There are many opportunities to lease a conference room through agencies like Regus, Snelling, Davinci and more. When meeting in person is not possible, use an on line platform like Zoom.

4. The initial meeting will require an introduction to everyone in the network and a good discussion about setting goals up for the group. Choose a discussion topic for second meeting. Don’t forget to exchange contact information like business cards and cell phone numbers so members can be contacted after hours. At the end of this meeting, set up a date and time for the second meeting.

5. During the second meeting, the things you will want to discuss are each physician’s highlights or lowlights for the first 30 days – this includes individual goals like number of patient referrals, good ad campaigns, an increase in new patients, and a review of the topic decided upon in previous meeting. Then have a Q&A to sum things up. Before ending the meeting, be sure to schedule your meeting for the following month. Also, make sure to assign a topic for the discussion at the next meeting.

6. Finally, re-evaluate and update your referral relationships and the physician network pool as you feel is necessary. Keep aware of the activities of the other physicians in your network community.  Make sure they all attend the meetings and engage in discussions and activities. Make sure they are keeping atop of their monthly goals for referrals as well as checking the back door. This includes performing a Google check from time to time to ensure nothing is going on that could damage the credibility of the referral network.

Setting up a physician referral network in your own community will help you and the members of your network to streamline the referral process, increase practice revenue streams and better coordinate the over-all patient care in the community.


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