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Adopt Physicians’ Best Practices

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By Vicki Rackner MD

vickiWould you like to grow your practice and acquire more physician clients?  Conduct yourself like a physician.

Here are some tips I taught medical students that you can adopt in your own advisory or consulting practice.

Adopt Physicians’ Best Practices

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

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***

A Mid-Year Update on Physician Compensation

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Medscape Compensation Report

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By Vicki Rackner MD

A 2015  Medscape Compensation Report sheds light on physicians’ earning potential.

Here are some key findings from a survey of 20,000 physicians in 26 specialties:

  • Orthopedists ($421,000) and cardiologists ($376,000) are still the top earners among physicians.
  • Physicians in private practice earn significantly more ($329,000 for specialists) than do employed physicians ($258,000 for specialists), despite the trend toward employment.
  • Male physicians earn more ($284,000) than their female counterparts ($215,000).
  • North Dakota and Alaska ($330,000) are the top-paying states for physicians, while Rhode Island ($217,000) and Maryland ($237,000) are the lowest-paying.
  • 9% of physicians have concierge or cash-only practices, the same percentage as last year, while ACO participation continues to grow.
Assessment

However, it’s not what you make that’s important; it’s what you keep. Click here to read a blog post about the Myth of the Rich Doctor that addresses the disconnect between income and wealth.

***

fashion-

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So, what are your thoughts about physicians’ potential to enjoy financial independence?

ABOUT

Vicki Rackner MD is an author, speaker and consultant who offers a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business. She helps businesses acquire physician clients, and she helps physicians run more successful practices. Contact her at (425) 451-3777

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Will single-payer really reduce administrative waste?

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Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

There is no other comprehensive book like it to help doctors, nurses, and other medical providers accumulate and preserve the wealth that their years of education and hard work have earned them.
—Dr. Jason Dyken MD MBA

[Dyken Wealth Strategies, Gulf Shores, Alabama]

What NOT to Do When You Launch Medical Initiatives

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A time of medical reinvention

[By Vicki Rackner MD]

vickiFor many hospitals, clinics and medical practices, this is a time of reinvention.

This episode of Shark Tank offers insights about what NOT to do as you launch new medical initiatives.

A doctor entrepreneur entered the Shark Tank to secure funding to grow his medical device company.  He painted the picture of an ideal investment opportunity, complete with an innovative product, a huge proven market and $10 million in sales.

As I listened, I thought, “He could get a five-Shark deal!”

Things quickly fell apart during Q&A. Here are snippets from the exchange sparked by the Sharks’ inquiries about his sales:

Doctor: “We could be making quite a bit of money if I wanted to.  I’m not all that interested in the money.  It’s a tool I use to hire people.”

Lori Greiner: “You’re not interested in making money?”

Doctor: “It’s not my motivation. Medical training is very important.  It’s a way of saving lives. “

Kevin O’Leary: “What about profits?  Do you care about this?”

Doctor: “I will at some point.”

Kevin: “Not encouraging words to an investor.”

Robert Herjavec: “Why aren’t people beating a path to your door?  

Barbara Corcoran: “He’s missing a business man.  You need a business man to make money. You’re not him.  You cannot build a business unless you’re interested in making a profit. I’m out.”

Doctor: “I don’t agree with your statement that I’m not interested in a profit.  It’s not what I’m interested in right now.” 

Kevin: “Think of how that sounds to an investor.  How will I get my money back?“

Lori: “You don’t have the passion about driving the business.  I understand you’re a scientist.  That’s what drives you.  But for me to invest, I have to feel that you will protect my investment and make it thrive.  I don’t hear that here today, and for that reason, I’m out.”

Robert: “I think you’re onto something.  I think what is missing is an avenue for sales and distribution and marketing.  You seem hesitant about taking advantage of that.”

Doctor: “I’m a scientist. I’m not that guy.”

By the end of the pitch, four Sharks were out.

One Shark decided to invest.

This entrepreneur’s inability to speak the Sharks’ language and see the world through their eyes cost him the buy-in of four Sharks.   That’s what NOT to do.

***

cyber

***

Here are the Shark Tank lessons to help you successfully launch new medical initiatives.

White Coats are wired differently than Suits.  The painful exchange in the Shark Tank highlights the fundamentally different priorities of business-minded people (let’s call them Suits) and clinicians (let’s call them White Coats).  For a Suit, profits drive and measure success.  A White Coat measures clinical outcomes.

Medicine is a team sport. Successful medical organizations must deliver quality medical care and generate a profit.  Neither Suits nor White Coats accomplish this in isolation; each must cross the cultural divide and meet on collaborative ground.

Identify who is persuading whom. Sometimes the White Coats persuade the Suits to invest in a new diagnostic or therapeutic direction.  That’s the essence of the Shark Tank pitch; the doctor was the seller and the Sharks were the buyers.

White Coats are much more likely to get buy-in for their proposed operating room redesign or purchase of new imaging equipment if they show the Suits how this investment will make the hospital more profitable.

Other times, the Suits want to persuade the White Coats to adopt more cost-effective practices.  In this case the Suits are the sellers and the White Coats are the buyers.  Show the White Coats how the initiative allows them to serve in a bigger way, deliver better care or enrich the doctor-patient relationship.

You are most likely to get buy-in when you speak the language of the buyer.  This is much like World Series in which the use of the designated hitter is determined by the rules of the home team.

Persuade respectfully. The entrepreneur’s dismissive comments about profits—the things Sharks value most— struck me as disrespectful.

Persuade respectfully.

Respect in Latin means “to see someone’s actions and hold them in esteem.”  To enhance your powers of persuasion, see the world through the eyes of the person you are trying to influence.

Test your message. If you were scheduled to go on national TV, wouldn’t you set up a mock Shark Tank and have your mock Sharks throw you every possible objection?

Why did no one on the doctor’s team say, “Look, you can’t tell an investor that you don’t care about profits.  Here’s a better answer.”

Run ideas by members of the group you are trying to persuade.

Patients are wired differently than White Coats and Suits. Perhaps the most profound force driving healthcare transformation is the evolving role of the patient.  More and more of your true buyers, either influencing or driving purchasing choices.

How do you persuade them to seek care at your facility?  If they were in the Shark Tank chairs, what argument would offer?

In truth we have a limited understanding of what drives patients’ choices. What do they want? What do they value?

Clinicians know what questions patients should ask.  The innovators answer the important questions patients really ask.  These are the questions that matter.

Further, patients are not a homogenous group.  Some patients gladly pay concierge fees to have an elite medical experience; others travel internationally to get rock-bottom prices on medical procedures.

Restaurants, airlines and department stores do not try to be all things to all customers; they focus. So can you.  Successful medical organizations identify the patients whom they want to serve, describe the medical transformation they facilitate and deliver a patient-centered experience. Some call this branding; I call this positioning.  You position, and the market’s response is your brand.

***

doctors

Other stakeholders are wired differently than White Coats and Suits 

***

You manage complex, triangulated relationships with other stakeholders, including:

  • The Payers (the parties who write checks to pay for the care your deliver) The Senders (the parties who refer patients to your organization)
  • The Employers (the party that employees your patients
  • The Family Caregivers (the unpaid member of the healthcare team)
  • The Risk Managers (the organization that assumes the risk of insuring patient populations)
  • Each stakeholder brings in a different perspective and agenda.

Invest in smart marketing. Marketing is nothing more than engaging a buyer in a conversation.  Successful hospitals, clinics and physicians are finding ethical, professional ways to reach their ideal patients and communicate their positioning.

Invest in selling skills to promote better clinical outcomes.  You may think of selling as the act of persuading a buyer to make a purchasing choice.

Let’s reframe selling as the act of inspiring the buyer to take action.

Imagine what would happen if clinicians developed better selling skills.  They could “sell” patients on the idea of taking medication as prescribed, following up at appointed times and adopting healthier lifestyle choices.

Compliance failures are like the disconnect in the Shark Tank; patients hear the doctor’s pitch, and say to themselves, “I’m out.”

Marketing and selling fall outside of most physicians’ comfort zone.  Evaluating a patient fell outside of every medical student’s comfort zone. Skills and knowledge can be acquired.

The key to success.  Collaboration is the key to success.  Get buy-in from stakeholders.  Understand their perspective; this leads you to their “buy button.”  Invest in selling skills and persuade more effectively.  Integrate patient-centered approaches.

These are the keys to help medical organizations make a bigger profit and a bigger impact.

ABOUT

Vicki Rackner MD is an author, speaker and consultant who offers a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business. She helps businesses acquire physician clients, and she helps physicians run more successful practices. Contact her at (425) 451-3777

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Talking about Retirement to Doctors with Caution!

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Instead … Talk Revenue Generation

By Vicki Rackner MD

vicki

As a financial advisor, wealth manager, stock-broker or financial planner, do you want to engage more doctor prospects?

Well, think twice about approaching them with educational content about retirement.

So, in this video presentation, I explain how and why this is not your best hook.

Assessment

Instead, talk to them about revenue generation.

***

pension

***

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyZ3cI9PKQA

ABOUT

Vicki Rackner MD is an author, speaker and consultant who offers a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business. She helps businesses acquire physician clients, and she helps physicians run more successful practices. Contact her at (425) 451-3777

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)

Doctors – Rethink Selling!

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Are You Averting Success?

[By Vicki Rackner MD]

vickiAs a Doctor – Does your aversion to selling get in the way of your success?

It did for me!  Here are some “heal thyself” lessons that might help you get better business outcomes.

My old beliefs about selling

When I entered medical school thirty years ago, I believed, “Doctors shouldn’t sell; it’s unprofessional.”

Further, I believed that I didn’t have to sell.  If I just took good care of patients, my practice would grow.

It was a different story when I traded my scalpel for a pen and a microphone and launched a career writing and speaking and consulting. I had to sell.

And almost every day as an entrepreneur I said to myself, “I hate selling!”

My new beliefs about selling

Here’s how I made peace with selling.

I reframed marketing as the process of engaging a prospect in a conversation; I reframed selling as the process of inspiring someone to take action.

Selling is the process of inspiring someone to take action.

You sell every day.  You sell when you persuade your kids to practice the piano, help a colleague see things your way or get the raise you want and deserve.

To generate revenue, you must persuade your prospects to take a very specific action step: exchange their hard-earned dollars for your value.  You generate more revenue when more prospects make more purchasing choices.

Two ways to inspire prospects to make purchasing choices

Imagine the late Billy Mays doing an infomercial for a surgeon who wanted to remove more gallbladders.

“Are you tired of getting pain every time you eat a French fry? Do you dread another gallbladder attack that’s worse than the pain of childbirth? Leave your gallbladder worries behind you! Come on in and have your gallbladder removed. Take advantage of our special promotional offer. Bring your mother and we’ll remove two gallbladders for the price of one. But, wait; there’s more.  Schedule your procedure this week and we’ll throw in a free appendectomy.”

As silly as this sounds, you may have a picture like this in your head when you think about selling.

That’s not how I helped patients say yes to a surgical procedure.  I created an experience of “facilitated buying.”  

If you’ve ever had an operation, you made a choice at the end of a process called informed consent.   Your doctors with whom you establish a relationship:

  • Gather information
  • Make a diagnosis
  • Make treatment recommendations.

Then your doctors fulfill a duty to help you understand what the treatment involves, the likely benefit you would enjoy and the risks. You were given alternatives, including the option of doing nothing.

Then out of respect for your autonomy, you were asked to make the choice that worked best for you. Many patients chose to delegate the decision to the doctor.

Could you reproduce this informed consent process in your business?  Could you engage a prospect in a conversation, build a relationship, understand where it hurts, render a diagnosis and offer a treatment plan?

My experience with tens of thousands of patients leads me to conclude that most people make good choices once they understand the risks, benefits and alternatives.

My selling lessons

Here are the lessons I learned:

  • Think of your sales funnel as a series of small “yeses” that guide prospects to the facilitated buying conversation.
  • The first yes is the hardest.  Make it easy.  Ask your prospects to accept a free sample of the result you deliver.  Invite them to sign up to get something they want.  Then think about how you can engage more prospects in conversations, and inspire more of them to take that first step.
  • The first sale is the hardest.  Can you go back to your existing clients with a second, third or fourth purchasing option?
  • Respect your buyers’ autonomy.  Don’t push; offer your prospects the opportunity to buy.  If you have correctly identified and clearly explained your value, the right clients will say yes.  If they don’t say yes, consider changing your value proposition to align with something the buyer really wants, or tweaking the way you frame your offer.
  • You can enhance your power to persuade.  This is a skill that can be developed.  You will see a significant ROI whether you want to generate more revenue, inspire more patients to take medication as prescribed or get more of what you want in your relationships.

***

crisis

***

Changing my mindset about selling was transformative. I recognized that the doctor-patient relationship could be a model guiding my interactions with prospects and clients.  All I had to do as an entrepreneur was conduct myself like a doctor.  I was selling all along, even in my surgical practice!

You may not have attended medical school, but you know how you like to be treated by your doctor. What if you treated your prospects and clients the same way you wanted to be treated as a patient?

Prospecting is much easier–and much more fun–when you see yourself like the doctor reaching out to the clients who value the result you help them get. That translates to better business outcomes.

Assessment

Rethinking selling worked for me and for my clients.  It can work for you, too.

What do you think?

About

Vicki Rackner MD is an author, speaker and consultant who offers a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business. She helps businesses acquire physician clients, and she helps physicians run more successful practices. Contact her at (425) 451-3777.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Doctor – What Do You Say When People Ask, “What Do You Do?”

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The Lesson of Magnets?

VR MD

[By Vicki Rackner MD]

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Whether you’re a clinic employee or a private practitioner, you reap the greatest career satisfaction when you see more of your best-fit patients. How do you attract them?

Magnets

Magnets offer an important lesson.

Depending on the orientation, two magnets will either attract or repel each other.  The strength of the magnetic force is called the magnetism.

The way you present yourself to would-be patients, referring physicians and other SENDERS–people who send you patients– will either attract them or repel them.

Your goal is to optimize your magnetism so you will attract the attention of people you want to engage.

It begins with hello. They say you only have one chance to make a first impression.

One of the first questions people ask you at a social event is, “What do you do?”  To generate referrals, answer in a way that increases the chances of attracting your best-fit patients to your practice. You want your listener to say, “Wow!  I know someone who needs to see you!”

***

Magnets

***

The Three Answers

There are three ways of answering this question:

  1. By title: You could say, “I’m a rheumatologist” or “I’m a pediatrician.”

The problem with this approach is that your title brings an image to the mind of the listener over which you have little control.

I was at a wedding when a budding Barbara Walters-type  started interviewing me.  This child said to me, “You’re a doctor.”  I nodded.  She asked , “What kind of doctor?”  I told her, “I’m   a surgeon.”  She asked “What kind of surgeon?”  I told her,  “A   general surgeon.”  Her eyes got big as saucers as she said, “Oh, you’re the person who puts those warning labels on the cigarette packs!”

  1. By diagnostic and therapeutic activity: You could say, “I treat orthopedic injuries.”  or “I treat diseases of digestion.”

The problem with this approach is that you’re asking your listener to become a diagnostician. Is their mother’s sub-sternal burning angina or acid reflux?

  1. By result:  You could say, “I help women make a gracious transition through menopause.”  Or , “I help parents set their kids up for a life of health.”  This is the approach with the highest magnetism score.

The most attractive positioning statement answers these three questions:

  • Whom do you help?
  • What results do you help people get?
  • Why is this result important ?

Ideally you craft a simple, memorable, repeatable sound bite.  You and your staff members use it.  People calling your office repeat it.

Assessment

The most magnetic positioning statements are deceptively simple.  Keep working at it.  You’ll know when you’ve found yours.  You pique the curiosity of your listener.  They want to learn more

About the Author

Vicki Rackner MD, author, speaker, ME-P thought-leader and President of Targeting Doctors, helps financial advisors accelerate their practice growth by acquiring more physician clients. She calls on her experience as a practicing surgeon, clinical faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine and nationally-noted expert in physician engagement to offer a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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How Financial Advisors Acquire Physician Clients [Video]

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It’s About Deep Niche Knowledge [An AV Presentation]

By Vicki Rackner MD

Enter the CMPs vicki

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About the Author

Vicki Rackner MD, author, speaker, ME-P thought-leader and President of Targeting Doctors, helps financial advisors accelerate their practice growth by acquiring more physician clients. She calls on her experience as a practicing surgeon, clinical faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine and nationally-noted expert in physician engagement to offer a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business.

Conclusion

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