Along our 25 year journey, Doctors Care has adopted principles and learned lessons in how to successfully recruit providers.
Recruit, recruit, and recruit physicians. Invest in a paid staff person to spend time bringing new physicians on board and growing your network of providers. Doctors Care saw a great increase in providers once we implemented this change.
Do not just recruit physicians. Recruit the mid-level physician assistants and nurse practitioners as well – especially because many times they are the ones at the physician’s office who are actually seeing your patients.
Use the influence of those you know. Remember, you are not asking for favors – you are providing the opportunity to be involved with a solution for health care in your community.
The office manager and practice manager at provider offices are key people with whom to create good relationships. He/she is usually the gateway to reaching physicians, and often these administrators will make the decision as to whether their practice is going to support your collaborative effort. Strive to develop trusting relationships, preferably through in-person meetings.
Diversity of our network is a good thing. When non-traditional medical services wanted to come on board, we made room…and it has served patients well. While we have often directed recruitment efforts at key specialties, we will not turn away any provider who wants to offer services to uninsured patients.
Develop Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs). As leadership among your partners changes, these participation agreements will show successors that the organization is committed to your effort. While you work to get the new leaders on board with your organization, the MOUs will prevent delay in the important delivery of patient care to the medically underserved.
Be ready to act quickly. Often, things have to happen simultaneously; for example, competing hospitals may join the program at the same time. Be strategic and be ready to wear many hats.