To say health care in America is dynamic would be an understatement. All sorts of changes are regularly suggested and implemented. There is an ever-growing consumer demand for wellness. Health clubs that take the initiative to capitalize on this demand position themselves to attract a steady influx of new members. Let's take a look at the benefits of wellness programs in the context of increasing health club memberships.
The Rise of Wellness Programs
The number of wellness programs popping up across the nation is seemingly endless. Health care providers and employers have figured out just how important these programs are to health, fitness and general well-being. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) even went as far as creating financial incentives for doctors to minimize treatment costs and boost physical health. Plenty of physicians are now prescribing physical fitness regimens and improved nutrition to treat chronic health issues. It is clear that prescription medications are no longer considered the solution to physical maladies. Doctor-prescribed drugs are gradually falling out of favor while wellness is spilling into the mainstream as a fast-growing trend.
There is a growing push to live as healthy a life as possible for as long as possible. Lifespans are increasing and people are becoming more concerned about the manner in which they age. The quality of one's life in the “golden years” has quickly become a primary concern for the baby boomer cohort. This age cohort is the second largest in the United States, trailing only the millennial age cohort. People are growing increasingly curious about the connections between the many different aspects of their lives and physical health.
Gyms Need to Key In on Member Wellness
Gyms that are able to communicate the importance of fitness to quality of life and longevity will find it much easier to attract and retain customers. Fitness is strongly tied to improved physical health as well as improved aesthetics, reduced stress and enhanced mental capabilities. Sleep is tied to upticks in productivity and cognitive boosts. Proper nutrition is connected to a healthy digestive system, improved ability to ward off disease and aging with grace. Each of these elements is central to wellness programs.
Tap Into the Referral Power of Local Physicians
Take a moment to consider the number of patients the typical physician sees in a day. A doctor sees upwards of 30 people in a single day. About half of these visits involve a discussion about exercise and diet improvements. Physicians stress the importance of physical activity and eating a healthy and balanced diet during these conversations. Yet the vast majority of physicians do not provide detailed instruction or referrals. This is due to the fact that physicians are hard-pressed for time. Your health club must seize the opportunity to help these patients.
Consider the number of new members you could attract if the physician recommended your health club for improved fitness and wellness. If properly cultivated, this strategy could lead to a dozen or more patient referrals per day. If the doctor refers a dozen patients each week, your health club has the potential to enroll 60 or more people each week. Even if you only attract 10 or 20 percent of these candidates, your monthly enrollment figures will receive a substantial bump. The number of new members will skyrocket if you forge alliances with multiple local physicians.
How to Persuade Local Physicians to Steer Patients to Your Health Club
Local physicians probably won't suggest a membership at your health club unless they are convinced your facility will make a substantial improvement in patient wellness. Take the initiative to show local physicians exactly how your facility will enhance patient health and fitness. Key in on wellness programs, a digital health portal and health coaching. These are the bridges that will connect your health club to local doctors.
As long as your wellness programs are proven to be effective and improve specific health conditions, doctors will consider the merit of your facility and services. Stress how your wellness push is applicable to specific patient needs and local physicians will gradually refer patients in your direction. Health coaching is essential as it reinforces wellness program goals. An experienced health guru coaching patients/members boosts compliance. This is the extra push members need to achieve their desired outcome.
Digital Health Portal for Member Wellness
A digital health portal is essential to your quest to maximize your health club's enrollment. Show local doctors that your portal allows for the secure portability of health information with full HIPAA compliance and they will be that much more confident referring patients to your club. Do not hesitate to assign a staff member to the management and quality control of your digital health portal. This portal should do everything from educating members about wellness to tracking progress.