Six Easy Steps to Marketing Your Complementary Medicine Practice

posted by Pivotal Health Solutions on Friday, May 29, 2015

As more patients are turning to complementary therapies, there's a ready market out there interested in benefiting from your treatments. However, marketing a complementary medicine practice--particularly if it is part of a larger center or institution--can require slightly different tactics than marketing a more traditional clinic. 

Although the article excerpt below focuses on integrative oncology centers, the tactics included are beneficial to any complementary medicine practice. 

To start, make sure to clearly define your unique brand and what you have to offer your patients--but don't ignore the value of being associated with a major hospital or center. Next, share this message to consumers, keeping in mind that complementary therapies may not be covered by insurance. This means that you should clearly and concisely explain the benefits of your services, using science-based evidence, and note insurance coverage when available. 

Reach out to a ready-made audience--the physicians within your larger center who can be a steady source of internal referrals--then take that a step further by reaching out to external referring physicians. Remember, even those physicians who work at your same institution may not fully understand how your practice could benefit their patients, but it's your job to educate them on how your therapies can complement their patient's care.

Finally, leverage both traditional and digital marketing channels to get your message out to the greater community. Depending on your budget, you can choose to launch a broad media campaign using TV, print and radio--or go more grassroots by securing speaking opportunities and emphasizing media relations and PR. However, all practices should develop a strong collateral piece such as a brochure and establish a content-focused presence online.

Integrative medicine services have begun to enter the mainstream. A recent Nutrition Business Journal report states that integrative medicine revenues now represent 2 percent of the $2.5T spent annually on national healthcare, and estimates a doubling in sales of integrative practitioner products and services from roughly $25B to nearly $50B from 1999–2010. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), 40 percent of the US population spent nearly $34B on out-of-pocket complementary and alternative therapies and products during 2007 alone. Driven by a combination of internal “clinician champions” (advocates of certain evidence-based integrative therapies) and patient demand (most notably from boomers who want a patient-centered, patient-empowered approach to the management of their disease and chronic conditions), the market for integrative care continues its ascent.

If your center is like most, you have an urgent need to reinvent your clinical business model and to develop specific strategies to achieve sustainable, long-term growth. This article explores the many challenges centers face and focuses on the key areas that can positively impact clinic utilization. Although the article concentrates on strategies for larger centers, many of these same challenges and concepts apply to private integrative practitioners.

This article excerpt, by Glenn Sabin, originally appeared here:


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At Pivotal Health Solutions, our story starts with a table. Not just any table, but one that you helped us design from the ground up. From that single table, PHS has become a leader in offering beautifully designed, quality-manufactured products for the complementary health care field.

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