This question comes up often because of a variety of pre-conceived notions and perceptions. Some may suggest that starting a house call practice may only serve the wealthy or are practical only for large metropolitan areas. On the opposite side, others may think that the house call practice model harkens back to days gone by and is too “small town” for a big city.
So in this article, I’ll debunk some myths and show you what you should really focus on in deciding if starting a house call practice is right for you, no matter where you live.
The House Call Practice: All About VALUE, Not Locale
When you have something that someone else truly wants and needs, location is irrelevant. Bringing a premium service and care right to someone’s front door is an incredible value. The key to finding true value in a person’s life is to offer them a service that no one else can, in other words, how to differentiate your house call practice and position it with respect to other health care practices in your area.
It’s about standing out from the crowd, showing them you are different, and letting them experience why different is better. Plus, you can maximize on this value by highlighting house calls in every aspect of your marketing.
Rather than use the same messaging, brochures, and websites that are designed for a typical health practice, tailor your message and offering as it specifically relates to you and the house call practice model.
Starting a House Call Practice is about FOCUS, Not Finances
The next natural question is, “If I’m going to be charging more for house calls, am I limiting myself in terms of the types of patients I can attract to my practice?” Not at all.
The house call practice model will not limit your access to only certain types of patients who are able to afford this level of service. They will actually create quite the opposite effect.
When you focus on your favorite patients, the ones you do your BEST work with, instead of casting a wide net, you will understand WHY they will happily pay for your premium care. Regardless of income level, it all comes down to how well they see the value and how well you convey it, not the price attached to the service.
Personally, I’ve had anyone from single moms to blue collar workers to young professionals gladly pay the fees that I charge because of what house calls offer for them.
When you create exclusivity around who you work with, your marketing is focused, your expenses are lower, your activities are focused, and your processes are streamlined. Plus, you end up with an all-star roster of patients that you LOVE…and that’s a smart formula for starting a house call practice no matter where you are!
Building a House Call Practice is About EFFICIENCY, Not Over Extending
Some health and wellness professionals fear; “won’t I just be driving around all day?”
When traveling to patients, having an efficient scheduling system is key so you can spend more time providing your services and less time commuting.
The answer is a smart process to cluster-book house call patients. Having minimal down time in-between appointments will help maximize how many patients can be seen in a given day. The unique element of starting and building your house call practice is simply going to the home. So, with cluster booking, it’s not just about the time of the appointment, it’s about the location.
Determine what blocks of time you will dedicate to what neighborhood/location and schedule your patients based on these blocks to minimize commute time.
House Calls Are About CONVENIENCE, Not Convention
When it comes to the patient, the house call practice model is a 180-degree turn from every typical experience. You are offering a massive convenience by bringing your services on-site, which means your patients don’t have to deal with traffic, sit in a waiting room, or struggle with family and life scheduling conflicts and transportation.
Providing service in a patient’s home or office creates a unique opportunity to integrate more care and build stronger rapport. There is a natural level of comfort and an increased ability for patients to ask you questions and show you how they live, work, and engage in their environment. Not only can you observe their daily activities, but you can also change them, right in their own home.
It's About SYSTEMS, Not Speculation
Starting a house call practice and making it succeed takes a keen awareness in how to have business and marketing systems that are unique for this model. Rather than fall into speculation on “if” it can work, you can look at HOW to make it work.
For business owners and patients, the house call practice model is a win-win. Patients get more face time and comprehensive care. Providers get to make more per appointment, spend less on overhead, have a significantly higher profit margin, and attract high-responding patients who gladly pay a premium, all to ultimately create a way to work less and make more.
So there you have it - big city, small town, and everything in between - house calls can work anywhere as long as you know what’s truly important.