Personal Fitness Professional - Spring 2017 - 20
FILL THE GAP
12 ways to pursue this
he worldwide obesity epidemic along with the incidence of
chronic disease and injury have
forced the need for a preventable,
outcome-based healthcare model - one that
utilizes medical fitness and nutritional services.
However, most medical systems today lack the
structure, resources and support staff to help
implement financially successful and sustainable fitness programs.
The main reason many medical systems are
reluctant to offer fitness programing is because
insurance companies do not accept it as evidence-based methodology with appropriate
governance to treat chronic disease with the utilization of personal trainers. A common concern
of physicians is, "I don't know who is qualified
to serve patients with chronic injury or disease."
The medical groups are just too busy to find
qualified personal trainers in their area. This
creates a great opportunity for the ambitious
personal trainer who is good at identifying and
introducing themselves as a leader in this niche.
Some progressive groups that recognize the
need and see the business opportunity have
begun employing personal trainers who are
responsible for implementing programs to be
part of a cash-based/insurance hybrid model.
Many groups that lack the resources and knowhow are looking to qualified professionals that
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are willing, able and ready to fill the gap between fitness and medicine. Many practices will
still be hesitant to add expenses and liability;
therefore, this is an opportunity for a trainer to
share space with a revenue share or pay rent inside the practice as an independent contractor.
The action-ready and persistent personal
trainer with the proper credentials and certifications can implement the following ideas to grow
in the fast-expanding field of medical fitness:
Create your "Medical Fitness Curriculum Vitae Kit" (medical resume) with
introduction letter, complete bio,
certifications, education, referral pad, restrictions document and who you are able to best
benefit. This should be sent to every physician
in your area and/or hand-delivered and asked
to be placed in each mail box. Physicians are
accustomed to receiving letters and direct mail
pieces requesting meetings, including providing basic information when new providers are
introduced to an area.
Learn to best leverage your biggest
training fans and make friends with
local medical professionals. According to the Physical Therapy Research Report
(PT Journal. January 2011: 91.1 p.25), the interpersonal relational skills of the therapist are the
key factors for patient satisfaction. The research
showed the greatest indicator of a positive satisfaction
score was derived from the
view of the provider-patient
relationships. Continued utilization and referrals are a
greater product of how the
patient personally views the
service provider. Positive relationships with patients and
local physicians will provide
a solid foundation for referrals. Find commonalities and
make a point to add value
and recruit their support in
helping you fulfill your mission of serving this
niche. Make a point to stay in front of physicians
to be reminded of your service. Medical professionals will refer to people they like and trust.
Ask for individual lunch meetings,
approach medical groups and provide a free lunch-and-learn education session for all staff. To increase your odds
of obtaining referrals, offer physicians a free
month training program and a discount for
staff. Give away something of value in terms
of a meal plan or e-book for all in attendance.
Create a well-structured PowerPoint that has
pertinent information about the need for medical fitness; who you are, who you best serve,