Success Story: New Practice Shares Tips to Gaining 5K Patients During Pandemic

As part of our Claiming Your Independence series, a healthcare provider shares his success in launching a new practice during a pandemic.

 Dr. Mike Eldirani, founder of Life Medical Center, didn’t listen to the nay-sayers when he opened a new clinic right after COVID-19 hit. Instead, he forged ahead courageously – and grew beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.

What was his secret? Dr. Eldirani shares six simple steps that fueled his success.

1. Pick the Right Biller and Software

Dr. Eldirani’s first business decision was to hire Elite Medical Billing Company, which had used Kareo to run its own finances since its inception 10 years earlier. They recommended adopting an EMR that combines with billing software for a seamless interface, namely Kareo. “We installed the entire Kareo suite from day one, which gave them an end-to-end system. The back office integrates flawlessly with the front office. Notes and lab results are all automated. It’s really smooth,” says Diana El Masri, CEO of Elite Billing Company.

2. Leverage Online Communications

Life Medical Center also implemented the Kareo Engage function for electronic communication with patients and prospects. It put the system to work immediately to market flu shots and COVID tests on the Internet. The response was fantastic. “In a single day, the clinic attracted 150 new patients for injections and tests, thanks to social media. It was a very clever way for a new practice to get a foothold in the market,” El Masri says.

3. Ask for Reviews

Similarly, Life Medical Center uses Kareo Engage to follow up after each patient visit to boost social media reviews. “Patients are sent an after-visit survey about their experience,” says Dr. Eldirani. “Comments are shared on social media. Patients are directed to our Google business page to leave a review as well. I am very active on social media myself, which also creates name recognition for the clinic. In just six months, we have earned 500+ Kareo reviews and 500+ Google reviews, almost all of them five stars. Amazing!”

4. Reach out with Text and Email

The clinic utilizes Kareo Engage to send patients texts and/or emails, remind them about upcoming appointments, schedule an exam, or even wish them a happy birthday. “We find that patients like getting texts, compared with being hassled by a phone call,” says El Masri. “It’s so much more convenient for everyone. They can reply by text and resolve the matter quickly. Although we also do emails, people seem to prefer texts – especially with younger patients.”

5. Put Test Results in a Portal

The Kareo Engage is making a big difference with timely test notifications. “Kareo receives and stores lab results electronically and posts them on the patient portal about the time the doctor sees them. Patients can check the findings on their own without needing to call the office – getting their results in hours, not days. This is faster than any other practice I’ve seen and is proving to be a genuine differentiator for the clinic,” says El Masri. “In contrast, I have another account on NextGen, and they’ve tried unsuccessfully to integrate lab results for ages,” she continues.

“When one of their physicians got sick, nobody communicated test results to his patients. What a mess – particularly when there’s so much more paperwork now due to COVID testing. They finally realized that automated lab integration like Kareo’s could save them one half-time employee.”

6. Listen and Respond - Online

Dr. Eldirani especially likes the way that online communications help him improve patient satisfaction. “Kareo Engage lets us give more personalized attention and listen more carefully to our patients’ needs. Patients love being able to communicate with me directly through the Kareo portal. I respond promptly to every inquiry and comment, and act on patient suggestions for improvements. This responsiveness contributes to our great reviews.”

The results of Dr. Eldirani’s recommendations are indisputable. His start-up practice grew to 5,000 patients in its first six months – during a global pandemic – attributable to a great billing partner, superior software, and the power of the Internet. For help to start up your own new practice, visit our New Practice hub page here. 

About the Author

Alesa Lightbourne is a prize-winning author, professor and former dean of an international business school. As a freelance writer, her clients have included Fortune...

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