When it comes to work comp, referrals won’t come beating down your door unless you know how to bring them in. It is not difficult to bring them in if you know and understand the needs and interests of the referral source. This can vary depending on the service. Let’s focus on post injury services.
There are two main groups you should market to: 1) the insurance crowd - case managers, insurance adjusters and third-party administrators and 2) the doctors’ offices - physicians and their staff. Both of these groups are mostly concerned with getting the injured worker back to work as efficiently as possible, so highlighting your expertise in conducting effective FCE and RTW screens will set you apart from the crowd.
The insurance group: Case managers, insurance adjusters and third-party administrators are focused on two major areas:
- They want to make sure the therapists aren’t over treating the injured worker. You can easily assuage this concern by performing a RTW screen on each WC patient. You will have objective data to support your recommendations while taking the guess work out of the equation for the referral source.
- They want to be able to understand the reports the therapists send to them. Is the injured worker progressing? Are they nearing discharge? If so, are they ready to return to full duty? If this information is provided to them in a concise manner, where important info is easily found?
Understanding these two needs provides a therapist with marketing opportunities to assure the referral source that the treatment will not be more than necessary, and that reports can be customized to fit specific needs and preferences. Hand-delivering the report is another way to market your services as it provides a face to face meeting to explain the report and build relationships.
Doctor’s office: Physicians and their staffs are the other group that is important to understand for effective marketing. Most occupational health physicians want relationships with therapists who:
- Produce happy patients who get better quickly. Are you implementing functional tasks into their treatments, such as those employed in an effective return to work program? Doing so gives you confidence that the injured worker is indeed getting ready to go back to work.
- Provide a “no-hassle” program that prevents them from receiving complicated paperwork and reports. Physicians are similar to case managers, insurance adjusters and third-party administrators in that they want to be able to understand and read the reports easily.
Again, having a working relationship with the physician and explaining the reports in person creates a great marketing opportunity as a therapist. And never underestimate the power of the staff within the physician’s office. Having a connection to the referral staff of an office can be hugely important in generating business.
Whether it is the insurance group or the doctor’s office, possibly the most important point with all referral sources is constant communication. Keeping the referral source informed of the progress of a patient allows for constant tracking. They all want to be informed of the improvement or struggles of a patient in order to adjust or continue with a treatment plan. This communication is a great way to build strong relationships with referral sources and to market therapy services for future patients.