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How Healthcare Consumerism Is Impacting Holistic Practices

holistic healthcare

Today, holistic care is a $37 billion-a-year business. That’s a huge number—but how are patients navigating the ever-growing market of options available to them to find the provider that best fits their needs and budget? Known as “healthcare consumerism,” patients are shopping around for their holistic wellness providers in the same way they find the best deals in the grocery store.

Why Does Patient Consumerism Affect Your Holistic Practice?

Americans spend an estimated $14.7 billion out-of-pocket for visits to complementary and integrative health practitioners such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists. Although there have been recent legislative developments to broaden coverage, holistic medicine is largely not yet covered by health insurance policies. As such, patients who utilize holistic medicine as a component of their overall wellness plan are compelled to shop around for the best quality at an affordable price.

Essentially, this is “patient consumerism”—the term used to describe this pattern of patients behaving more like shoppers than ever before. In order to be so discerning and cost-conscious about their care, patients are putting more proactive effort and research into their care options and associated costs, especially since they’re personally paying for it.

Holistic providers need to continue focusing on improving the patient experience, building their brands, and operating more like a retail business in a highly competitive market. While this trend of patient behavior isn’t as jarring in the holistic health world as it is in the conventional medicine market—where health insurance was once wholly relied upon to cover the cost of care—it’s still important for holistic practices to emphasize the experience of the patient in their practice from start to finish.

Patient acquisition is one of the most important components of running a long-lasting holistic practice, and it is a cornerstone of your revenue cycle. As more Americans are turning to holistic healthcare than ever before, your holistic practice has the opportunity to bring in new patients and serve more members of your community. Recognizing the underlying psychology of the patient as a consumer can help your practice effectively engage new patients by speaking to their journey of shopping around for holistic healthcare.

5 Tips for Patient Acquisition at Your Holistic Practice

When it comes to patient acquisition, your marketing efforts are aimed to give the patient enough information and motivation to go to your clinic for service. This marketing is highlighting the best parts of your holistic practice and makes a compelling argument for someone to make a choice.

Here are five actions to take when considering the potential consumer’s relationship with your holistic practice:

Develop Your Brand

Part of what will set your holistic practice apart from the competition is developing your unique brand. This includes your message style and overall mission statement. You’ll have to address what kind of approach you’ll take to market your practice to the public and what tools you’ll use. 

All of this will influence your message tone. For instance, if you’re marketing massage therapy to the elderly, you would use a different tone, style, and content than if you were attracting a millennial client base. Or, let’s say you’re focusing on delivering acupuncture services as an opioid alternative for patients recovering from addiction or surgery. You would use a distinct tone of voice in your marketing that speaks to their specific needs than if you were trying to attract a more generic audience. 

Get Technologically Savvy

Patients who booked healthcare appointments ran three times more searches than those who didn’t, which means that enhancing your holistic practice’s online options and overall digital presence is key to success in a patient-first landscape. 

If possible, add a chat feature to your website that connects customers with members of your staff to answer quick questions. Additionally, flesh out your practice’s digital appointment-booking options and make online medical records and payment options as accessible as possible. 

Provide Price Transparency

Posting cost information online can make a big difference to patients, as well. Make the prices of any services you provide to patients readily available on your website, as well as inside your office. This further informs your patients about what to expect to pay and sets the foundation for dialogue about payment options, etc.

While you’re at it, consider expanding the type and amount of options of holistic care you deliver. For example, you could add a pediatric acupuncture specialist to your acupuncture practice to attract new types of patients and provide additional services to your community.

Deliver Patient Education Resources

Patient education resources are essential to a well-rounded holistic practice because they help empower the patient. When receiving literature from a trusted wellness provider, the patient can learn more about their diagnosis, condition, treatment plan, and further their own understanding and use this information to do more research, if needed. 

This can lead to a healthy dialogue between patient and provider, as the patient can ask more informed questions about their health and feel more empowered in their healthcare journey.

Partner with a Medical Billing Firm

Every holistic practice aims to deliver excellent care and customer service, but juggling everything on your practice’s plate makes it difficult to meet all your patients’ expectations. Your support staff is always going to be responsible for managing scheduling tasks, executing patient check-in and check-out, keeping the books, and handling clinical concerns. By outsourcing medical billing, you’re freeing up your staff’s time to better attend to patient needs, resulting in higher satisfaction rates and better patient retention.

The experts here at Holistic Billing Services believe that our success is your success. From handling medical billing and coding to offering consulting services and much more, our team is dedicated to making it feel like we’re in-house. With a focus on holistic practices, insurance background, and proven consultants, our team can effectively ensure the financial success of clients, allowing your medical practice to focus on what it does best: treat patients.

Our expertise is rooted in professional, technical, and global billing for hospital and stand-alone holistic care practices. To learn more about how outsourced medical billing with Holistic Billing Services can empower your practice, contact us today. We’ll work with you to build a customized solution that meets the specific needs of your practice and allows you to get back to treating patients.

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October 28, 2021
 - by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME
holistic healthcare
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