I have been in private practice for almost a year. It will be 1 year in August 2012. I would say that I'm doing well. My clinic is located in a medical plaza that consists of 5 suites (all accessible from the outside). I opened this practice next to two podiatry groups, neurology group, cancer center, and a wound clinic. Both podiatry groups share a huge suite at the end of the complex. There is 1 podiatrist from each group that is in the office M-F. So at least two podiatrists are in the office everyday M-F. All of the podiatrists are surgeons. The podiatry groups own the entire medical plaza. I lease space from them.
Prior to me opening my clinic, one of the surgeons asked me if I was interested in space that was available in the medical plaza. I have seen many of his patients in the past and he was very happy with my work and how his patients progressed. That being said, he told me they were looking to have a physical therapy clinic close to them so that they can refer patients there. It sounded like a great opportunity for me. There is 6 surgeons that work out of this office and I would have a built-in referral base. Sounds like a no-brainer for me. They gave me 3 months free rent. I decided to go for it. Of course I knew I had to market to all other physician practices in the area to try and get additional referrals from elsewhere other than the podiatrists.
I opened in August 2011. It started off slow for obvious reasons. About 2 months in, I started to become a little busier, nothing dramatic, just seeing about 3-4 patients per day, obviously needing to become a lot more busy than that. Some weeks I would get 5-7 referrals then other weeks I would get 0-2. Please keep in mind that I would frequently visit the podiatry offices, bringing them refreshments, and keeping up with the communication part of it. All of the docs and front desk say that they are very happy with how things are going and to keep up the good work.
After the first of the year (Januar 2012), I started rolling. I was getting 5-10 referrals per week. I was seeing 12-16 patients per day. It was great! I figured I was on my way! Then all of the sudden, May and June rolled around and my referrals dropped significantly. When I say significantly I mean getting a total of 4 referrals in the month of June. Needless to say my patient load per day dropped significantly. Last week I did not get any referrals.
A couple of weeks ago I spoke with the front desk and they told me that the docs have not had any physical therapy referrals lately. They said that everything was fine and that the docs just have not had been referring to therapy lately. I've spoke with 3 of the 6 docs to inquire about how my physical therapy services were going and they said that everything was fantastic and to keep up the good work? The front desk said that whenever they get a physical therapy referral they definitely send the patient over to me, there just hasn't been any lately.
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give you the entire situation. This confuses the heck out of me. I cannot understand for 1 second how two podiatry offices can be so busy and only have 4 physical therapy referrals for the whole month and none for a week. One of the docs saw 42 patients in one day! How is it possible that none were referred to therapy. What can I do to show these docs that they should refer to therapy more? All I'm asking for is for at least 5 referrals per week! I figured between 6 surgeons seeing at least 20 patients per day in their office, it would be easy to get.
I can't understand how I ever go through a slow period like this. Any advice???