12 Tips for Attracting New Patients in the Obamacare Economy

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”

– Heraclitus

2013 brought the introduction of sweeping, mandated regulatory and procedural changes that impacted virtually every single private practice owner operating a physical therapy clinic in the US.

It was just the beginning.

2014, continues the Obamacare economy era of rapid changes and declining reimbursements.

You had better be ready and willing make necessary changes to ensure the survival of your clinic.  Or if you have any aspirations for seeing it grow into the thriving … financially independent private practice that you have always dreamed of then you have to make a drastic decision.

Today, and in the coming weeks, I’m going to share with you several no-nonsense tactics and strategies than when implemented strategically and consistently, will help to give your practice the firm footing it needs to travel the road whose final destination is a financially secure and thriving private practice immune to the caprices of the Obamacare economy era.

Your Clinic From the Ground Up – Strategies that Create Stability and Generate Referrals:

12 Tips for Attracting New Patients in the Obamacare Economy

  • Promote your practice by having effective marketing tools such as using the power of print, video, audio CDs, signs or billboards, social media like Facebook and Twitter, as well as mobile marketing.
  • Provide a tangible benefit in your marketing messages. Your message needs to clearly differentiate your physical therapy practice to make it stand out from your competitors. Give prospects, current and former patients a reason to choose you. Think of this marketing principle – “knowledge of differences creates a reason to choose.”
  • Be consistent in your marketing efforts, by continually getting your name in front of prospective patient populations, and doing everything you can to make it as easy as possible for them to find you, when the need arises to call a physical therapist, your practice will be at the top of their minds. This is especially powerful as your competitors are most likely reducing their marketing efforts during these uncertain economic times.
  • Have a referral program in place that makes it easy for patients to recommend the practice to friends and family. Get in the habit of using words, phrases and gestures that encourage patients to make referrals.
  • Place a sign outside your practice saying “Now Accepting New Patients.”
  • Provide a regular physical therapy newsletter that can be delivered via mail, email, fax, online, or to a mobile device. Create an on-going dialogue with present and former patients that focuses on how the services provided by your clinic can help not only them, but their families, friends and others within their circle of influence to live happier, pain-free lives. Use your newsletter to craft the perspective that your practice is a resource within the community. Encourage them to avail themselves of it and to spread the word to their private and professional circles.
  • Present free consumer guides, patient giveaways or free reports to stimulate referrals.
  • Expand your point of service to different venues: fitness and sports training centers, workplace or occupational environments, inpatient and outpatient settings, and skilled nursing, emergent care and/or extended care facilities.
  • Have an open house – meet and greet visits to let patients get to know (builds trust and loyalty).
  • What do people say when they recommend someone?  “You’ll like him/her, he’s/she’s nice.” Be nice to everyone you meet: patients and their families, staff, hospital staff, vendors, janitors -everyone.
  • Offer payment plans and offer a financial hardship program.
  • Last but definitely not the least, show patients appreciation of their patronage by sending thank-you cards, birthday, anniversary or other special occasion greetings, small gifts even appointment reminders to show that they are more than just an account number.


Success in attracting new patients requires the ability to recognize, identify, plan and capitalize proactively on opportunities as they present themselves.

This process requires a vision, effective planning, skillful implementation, consistency and frequency in communication.

The winners in this “game of attraction” all have one thing in common…they have all been proactive in acquiring the knowledge necessary to implement a comprehensive physical therapy marketing plan which guides them daily; reaching, convincing and attracting a diverse prospect/patient audience.


Have a great week!

Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT

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