Direct Primary Care Course

Question from the Community: How did you work with Veterans?

My name is Dr. Paul Thomas with StartUpDPC and I'm here to help you start and grow your Direct Primary Care practice. Our question this week comes from a Direct Primary Care doctor in the community. They want to know more about the health care services that we provide for Veterans in our community through our practice, Plum Health DPC.

“Hello again. This is _______ from _____ DPC in _______, __. I just saw that you have partnered with the VA to provide care for veterans. I currently have 4 patients who are vets that come to me and I would love to be able to help more of them as we all know this is a significantly under-served population. If you have a minute I am very interested in a few things regarding this partnership:

1. How you went about getting this partnership

2. How you are reimbursed (vets or VA paying?)

3. Did you have vets that were currently on your panel that were pulled into this (as I assume there is some sort of gov reimbursement)?

4. Anything else worth knowing if able to get into this?

If you have some time I'd love to see your thoughts as I think this would not only help my practice grow, but provide a much needed alternative for vets besides going into a broken Fee For Service community system.

Thanks so much, _____.”

I love this question! You want to help veterans with their primary care services, and I absolutely love that. That’s what I’m out here doing as well. To be clear, I’m not partnering with the VA or the Veterans Administration.

What I did, was I partnered with a small business called Veterans Care Network. I developed a relationship with Shane and Jenny who run the Veterans Care Network. We built a relationship over time and they grew to trust me and want to business with our practice, Plum Health. They developed an application process, and selected two veterans to send to our practice.

You can read more about it on my practice’s blog, Plum Health. I go into more detail with our (first ever!) YouTube video.

StartUpDPC tackles how to work with Veterans in our latest blog post! It starts with developing relationships.

StartUpDPC tackles how to work with Veterans in our latest blog post! It starts with developing relationships.

How to Boost A Facebook Post for your Direct Primary Care practice

Once you create engaging content on your blog, you can share that engaging content on your social media channels. LinkedIn and Facebook are perfect for sharing links from your blog posts to your contacts on your social media channels. Why is this? Because Facebook and LinkedIn allow their users or your audience to click through these links to reach your content.

The whole point of having a Sales Funnel is to move people from where they hang out - Google, Facebook. LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Amazon - to your website. You see, your potential customers cannot purchase your service via Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, or Amazon. Your potential customers can only purchase a membership from you when they’re on your website.

This is the bottom line: you want to drive traffic from these big websites and social media platforms to your website. So, once you create an engaging piece of content on your blog with an eye-catching image, you can then share that piece of content to your social media channels.

Facebook will actually tell you when your post is outperforming your other posts. For example, you might see a notification from Facebook that says “This post is performing better than 85% of your content” or something like that. When this happens, this is a reasonable time to boost your post.

Additionally, Facebook will sometimes offer you $10 to boost a post. This recently happened, so I took advantage of the $10 deal. Here’s what that looked like:

This is the view of my personal Facebook feed, tied to my business account with my Direct Primary Care Practice, Plum Health DPC. Once I log into my personal Facebook page, Facebook prompts me with a $10 Ad Credit to use towards my business account.

This is the view of my personal Facebook feed, tied to my business account with my Direct Primary Care Practice, Plum Health DPC. Once I log into my personal Facebook page, Facebook prompts me with a $10 Ad Credit to use towards my business account.

Above is the view of my personal Facebook feed, tied to my business account with my Direct Primary Care Practice, Plum Health DPC. Once I log into my personal Facebook page, Facebook prompts me with a $10 Ad Credit to use towards my business account.

Here is the close-up view of that $10 Ad Credit - pretty enticing deal from Facebook.

Here is the close-up view of that $10 Ad Credit - pretty enticing deal from Facebook.

Once you finish boosting your post, you will see that your $10 Ad Credit has been claimed.

Start Up DPC Direct Primary Care Boosting a Post on Facebook Part 3.png

Once you log in to your Facebook for Business Account, you can see the results of the Ad and Ad Credit. It’s too soon to see any results for this one, but for past $25 investments, I’ve reached about 3,000 new people and had 137 and 381 people engage with my content. See below:

Once you log in to your Facebook for Business Account, you can see the results of the Ad and Ad Credit. It’s too soon to see any results for this one, but for past $25 investments, I’ve reached about 3,000 new people and had 137 and 381 people engage with my content.

Once you log in to your Facebook for Business Account, you can see the results of the Ad and Ad Credit. It’s too soon to see any results for this one, but for past $25 investments, I’ve reached about 3,000 new people and had 137 and 381 people engage with my content.

Thanks for reading this basic overview on how to boost a Facebook post for your Direct Primary Care practice. If you’d like to take a deeper dive and see more about this process, check out our course on building a Sales Funnel for your Direct Primary Care practice.

-Dr. Paul Thomas with StartUpDPC

How to Get More Patients for your Direct Primary Care Practice

The biggest question doctors have is how to get more patients for their Direct Primary Care practice. How do you attract patients to your Direct Primary Care practice when your name is not on the back of their insurance card? How do you get people to pay over and above their insurance for your Direct Primary Care service?

I’ve come up with a short list on how to get more patients for your Direct Primary Care practice, and it starts with building trust with your community.

Build Trust with your Community

When a patient selects you as their physician, they are entrusting you with their most important asset - their health. The doctor-patient relationship is solemn and sacred, so how do you build trust with people in your community? To build trust you should be consistent, authentic, genuine, and caring. We often form deeper relationships with people who demonstrate these qualities, they are typically our best friends. Bonus points if they’re fun to be around!

Simple actions like speaking at a local school - and documenting the process - can help you build trust with local stakeholders.

Simple actions like speaking at a local school - and documenting the process - can help you build trust with local stakeholders.

Now, it’s one thing to have and possess these qualities, and it’s another thing to communicate these qualities with a broader audience. Many Direct Primary Care doctors have these qualities - people who choose a DPC practice are often phenomenal people with big hearts who want to do the right thing for their patients, their community, and themselves. I’ve been to several meetings of Direct Primary Care doctors and I’m always blown away by their compassion and caring, their willingness to do the right thing no matter the cost.

However, their weakness - the weakness of the DPC doctor - is their ability to communicate with their broader audience. They have a hard time telling folks about their character. Maybe it’s because we’re doctors, and we feel like once we hang a shingle, our neighbors should flock to us for their care. But this simply isn’t the case.

The market is fiercely competitive and you have to communicate your value to the people in your community and you have to do this on a consistent basis. So how do you communicate your value?

How do DPC Doctors Communicate Their Value to the Community?

Direct Primary Care doctors use tools to communicate their value to their broader community. The best known tools are the social media channels that we and our prospective patients use on a daily basis. That’s right - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc… are the mediums by which we communicate to our patients. If you’re able to build a strong personal and professional brand on these channels, you can build a robust DPC practice.

Additionally, DPC doctors leverage other tools like email lists and press releases to reach more patients in the broader community. These can extend your reach beyond the algorithms of Social Media channels.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive on these subjects, check out our courses page.

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

Dr. Paul Thomas, founder of StartupDPC

Why StartupDPC?

StartupDPC exists because we believe in the Direct Primary Care movement and we want to help doctors start and grow their DPC practices.

My name is Dr. Paul Thomas and I’ve been planning, building, and growing my Direct Primary Care practice over the last 3 years and I want to share everything that I’ve learned during that time with you. I went from 0 patients in November 2016 to over 500 patients today and I recently hired a second physician to help me manage the demand.

In addition, I’ve become a thought leader in the Direct Primary Care field, as I have advocated for the advancement of DPC in Washington and I’ve spoken at the national Direct Primary Care conferences on a range of topics.

I want to accelerate your growth, decrease the number of mistakes that you make, and help you achieve a fulfilling practice in Direct Primary Care. I want to do this because I believe in Family Medicine and Family Physicians, and their ability to deliver excellent primary care services to their patients and to their communities.

I’ve consulted with several Direct Primary Care doctors who have gone on to create successful, thriving Direct Primary Care practices. I want to share the knowledge that I’ve gained and share the essence of these consulting sessions with you so that you can grow your practice more quickly.

More to the point, there isn’t a great coaching resource in the marketplace right now, and we want to provide an excellent service to accelerate the growth of the DPC movement.

We aim to answer the most commonly asked questions in the Startup Phase and then we have additional resources for you to use during the growth phase. We will also add modules as needed, specifically around hiring another physician and similar topics.

To get started, head over to our courses page.

Thanks for reading and good luck with starting your DPC practice - let me know if I can be helpful along the way!

-Paul Thomas, MD

Dr. Paul Thomas speaking to an audience of over 300 at the AAFP Direct Primary Care Summit aka DPC Summit in Chicago in June 2019

Dr. Paul Thomas speaking to an audience of over 300 at the AAFP Direct Primary Care Summit aka DPC Summit in Chicago in June 2019