5 Tips to Consider when Building Partnerships with Physicians

Have you considered how creating a partnership with doctors might benefit your own practice?  One exciting avenue of private practice that we have seen lately has been how dietitians are initiating partnerships with MDs to provide nutrition consulting and advisement for the MDs’ practice. It makes sense! If you are in a nutrition speciality and are actively working with the same clientele as a local physician or specialist, why not build a relationship that will benefit both of you?  Today, we’re going to share  a few pointers with you on how to get started!

1. Connect with local relevant physicians and specialists in your area.

Start local. While you are still navigating your first partnership with an MD, it may be a good option to figure out what kind of a relationship you would like and be able to include options such as in-office consults or visits.

When first reaching out, be confident and casual. The worst they can say is that they aren’t interested in forming a partnership, so worry not. Introduce yourself, share your relevant credentials, and let them know exactly why you are interested in forming a partnership them in particular. Reaching out with an introductory email or phone call is a great start too.

2. Set up a time to meet in person to talk.

In your introduction, always try to meet in person. This will help establish a relationship between you and the MD and can make it much easier to set up a partnership. Your meeting can be quick and casual. This is a great place to share your treatment methods and discuss items such as detailed charting notes and communication methods that you can use to communicate private client information. On this meeting, be sure to bring business cards so that your new potential partner will have your contact information handed over again.

3. Discuss what kind of a relationship will most benefit both of you.

During this meeting, try to brainstorm what kind of a partnership you think might best support your respective businesses. There are a number of ways we’ve seen this relationship work. In one model, you as the dietitian, work as an independent contractor with your services directly offered to their clients. In another, you might set up weekly hours that you would agree to sit in and be available to their clients.

4.  Talk money.

Cement this business plan by deciding the fiscal details. We have seen this work out a number of ways, whether it be receiving compensation as a percentage of commissions or through a set fixed rate per day you spend at the MD’s practice. Always first take into account how much you charge clients at your own practice and how compensation from this partnership compares. In the end, you want to provide a plan that can mutually benefit both you and your MD partner.

5. Always follow up!

Great partnerships don’t often happen over night. Build that relationship by maintaining an on-going conversation!  Send follow-up notes and charts from sessions with your shared clients.  Strive to be timely and consistent too. Good channels of communication can go a long way in supporting the physician’s care plan and fostering a strong relationship between you and your business partner.

Looking for more advice on establishing partnerships? Let us know at hello@gethealthie.com

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