So when health and wellness professionals consider starting a house call practice, the first question that typically comes to mind is, “where do I start?”
The house call practice model is gaining attention because it offers professionals a way to build a practice with less start-up, less overhead, more time with patients, and more revenue. This offers instant curb appeal, and this model can be applied to any of these situations:
You have your own health practice.
You work for someone and want to start your own house call practice.
You're a new grad and already know that the conventional high volume, high overhead health practice isn't for you.
Situation 1: I have my own health practice.
Being a practice owner gives you a great advantage to integrate house calls because you already have an existing patient base. So, first understand your motivation here. Typically, either you want to incorporate house calls as an additional service, or you are looking for a way to phase out of your current practice . Knowing this will help you determine the best game plan for your desired results.
The key is to map out your practice flow. Determine blocks of time for your office and for house calls to keep your scheduling efficient. That will create the framework for your availability and be sure to communicate this new schedule to your current and new patients.
Next is to look at your systems. You need to determine your fee structure and policies for house calls, which should be different yet complimentary to what you have in-office.
Remember, house calls are a different model of service. You want to ensure you can integrate your patient management systems while mobile. This includes accessing patient documents, communicating with your office, and delegating administrative tasks specific to house calls to your front desk staff.
Then you’ll want to determine your marketing plan and have structures in place to promote house calls to both your current and new patients. This applies to your collateral (flyers, brochures, etc.), online marketing (website and social media), and marketing event structure and set-up. Create your key messaging for the new offering of house calls and a timeline to incorporate each of these messages into each marketing component.
Your investment in marketing house calls in your practice will be minimal in comparison to the revenue you’ll receive from it. If done effectively, you can plan on as high as a 90% profit margin per house call appointment.
Now use this step-by-step guide to map out your goals and income potential with house calls. Having these strategies in place will help you integrate house calls into your current practice seamlessly and successfully.
Situation 2: I work for someone else and want to start my own house call practice or home health care business.
If you’re thinking of starting your own house call practice, first identify why the house call practice model is appealing for you. Typically health and wellness providers in this situation are craving more autonomy, more time with their patients, and, most importantly, a way to start a practice without taking on a large debt. Knowing your motivation will fuel you to make the transition into practice ownership.
First identify your core offerings. What services, techniques, etc., do you want to offer in your particular house call practice? What types of patients do you want to work with? How do house calls resonate with your approach and your patients’ needs? Use these questions to clearly identify the vision for your house call practice and a timeline for your practice launch, because it’ll be the foundation for everything you create.
Marketing done right with house calls gives you a huge advantage in practice. Your ability to stand out with house calls sparks your ideal patient's interest, and sets your word of mouth advertising on fire.
In a traditional setting, you have to compete with every person with a sign and a “special,” yet by starting a house call practice you are most likely competing with no one.
You easily stand apart, and above the rest. You are different. You are unique. You have more value in the eyes of your prospective patients. When you say “I’m a house call _________,” it creates curiosity that draws patients to you, instead of seeing you as a dime of dozen and just passing by.
Now let’s look at the numbers.
The House Call Practice model makes great business sense when you consider that the average business spends thousands of dollars on start-up alone, then watches 50% of its profits go out the door for overhead. In contrast, a house call practice can be started for a few thousand dollars, which includes your specific industry equipment, systems, and initial marketing expenses. With less startup and overhead cost, you’ll have a greater ability to reach your goals quicker and become profitable faster.
So now that you have this financial peace of mind, start to break down the components for your house call practice. You’ll need automation tools for your house call practice along with virtual front desk systems to keep things running smoothly, with little effort.
Systems that require minimal hands-on effort allow you to haven “office” that is 100% mobile and independent of a front desk. You should have marketing strategies in place that generate leads both online and in person that communicate the unique value that house calls offer.
Working on these house call practice elements will be a great starting point for those of you in this situation to get your initial frameworks and an action plan in place.
Situation 3: I’m a new grad.
The recommendations from Situation 2 apply here as well because you have the same goal of starting your own practice. A key difference is the confidence and experience factor. New grads question if they need experience before launching their house call practice. Fears of “I don’t know how ” or “how do I market this” loom in.
First, the fear of the unknown. You don’t have to fly solo and try to figure out a house call practice yourself. There are resources to give you training, support, and the systems you need to do this successfully. Use the knowledge now available to you.
Next, the marketing. The unique marketing value that house calls offer to patients will make your practice instantly stand out. Plus you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a marketing budget. With low overhead, your house call model can be profitable with low volume, meaning less pressure and more growth.
For new grads, if starting a typical practice or working in one doesn’t resonate with you, then build a practice that’s based off of your vision and what you want.
The house call practice model offers flexibility and freedom. Whether you want to integrate house calls into your existing practice or start your own house call practice, this model can be easily molded into what you want to create in your practice. It can also evolve over time, giving you the flexibility to scale your practice to the opportunity that exists and what you want to create.
This model offers freedom to health and wellness professionals to build the lifestyle you want, while providing top-notch service for patients. You can create a vision for your practice that extends beyond four walls, allowing you to build a practice in a way you never allowed yourself to think was possible. With house calls you can work less, make more, and treat better, so why not get started!