Who your ideal patient is NOT… just a hunch:

  • Needy
  • Not compliant with pre and post op plan
  • Very few bariatric coverage options
  • Very low collections rate from payer


BTW – Patients who fit this description are not “bad” patients. They need and deserve the best care possible. The point of this discussion is simply comparing common traits between several types of patients. Each patient type has its pros and cons. Just like each practice has its own capacities and constraints.

Who your ideal patient IS… Obviously:

  • Self motivated
  • Relatively healthy
  • Strong bariatric coverage options
  • High reimbursement rates or cash pay


Simply stated, the ideal patient is one who is able to work with your team and pays in a manner that allows your practice to pay for the best staff and facilities.

Imagine if you had 20% more of these “ideal” patients completing surgeries this month.

That would mean that:

  • Your past 3 to 6 months would have been 20% less stressful and more engaging for your staff.
  • Your clinical outcomes over the next few months would be even more positive.
  • Your word of mouth referrals and online reviews would be looking better than ever.
  • Your income would be getting back up to “pre-payer cut” levels.

What can you do TODAY?

30 minutes of research

  • Run a report in your EMR or ask your biller/billing company who your top 3 payers were over the past 12 months. Not the ones that paid the most to you but the ones that pay the highest rates on your most common procedures. Make note of the top three payers.
  • Run a report on all of your Cash Pay patients and look for common threads. Things like gender, education level, occupation, zip code, procedure type, source (referral, internet, radio ad, etc), hobbies, family status, etc.


Spread the word

  • Draft a short email to your favorite referring providers educating them on the ideal patients that you see experiencing the best outcomes. Help your referral sources understand and remember who you can help the most. Paint a picture they can remember and thank them for the patients they have already helped by referring them to you.
  • Use your social media accounts to tell the story of your unnamed patient groups (no HIPAA violations) that have been successful with your practice. Hint – you can reuse much of the info in your referring provider email for this.


The ideal patient is who you want to see more of.


Do a little homework to figure out what that person “looks like” in your community.


Tell the story of those types of people experiencing success and winning the war on weight by partnering with you.


You can do this. Go find more of your ideal patients!

Future subjects:

  • Facebook, Google, SEO, Print, Radio, etc? Ugh!!!
  • How much should I be spending on marketing?
  • Newsletter or not?