Referral Trouble

February 1, 2008

The doctor in the office next to mine is an optometrist. Since I started my practice, I have referred at least 30 patients to him. He has only referred one patient to me. He said that he has tried. I am very frustrated. Is there any way that I get a can profit out of this but not fall into "kick-back" problems?

Question: The doctor in the office next to mine is an optometrist. Since I started my practice, I have referred at least 30 patients to him. He has only referred one patient to me. He said that he has tried. I am very frustrated. Is there any way that I get a can profit out of this but not fall into "kick-back" problems?

Answer: Two things: One, there are probably not a ton of patients seeing an optometrist that have some immediate need for a referral to a GP. It’s not the same as you seeing a patient who needs a good eye exam.

Two, you certainly can refer elsewhere to see if you get a better response. But no, you can’t propose that the optometrist has to refer you patients or that you get a cut of the business you send him.

Perhaps you can leave some marketing materials in his waiting room so you can promote yourself.