According to the Medical Group Management Association, practices should spend 1-3% of revenue on marketing their practice. That could mean anything from newspaper ads to online marketing to paying someone to manage your web presence and social media activities.
The absolute best way to begin marketing your practice, however, is to increase the volume from your current base of patients through direct to patient marketing. Reaching out to existing customers based on current patient data is a highly effective way for a practice to start actively marketing and growing its volume.
Your practice management and medical billing software is full of information that you can use to increase patient volumes and revenue. With the right system, it should be easy to mine your data and identify patients who could benefit from additional services. Patients that are the most obvious for active outreach include:
- Patients with chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease who are due for a follow up appointment.
- Patients due for physicals, well-woman or well-child checks, and other preventive care.
- Anyone who may benefit from immunizations, including annual flu or pneumonia shots.
By leveraging patient engagement tools, patients matching pre-set criteria can be automatically identified and contacted for appointments and services via mail, email, text, or phone.
Your practice can use these tools to drive awareness, increase business, and keep you patients informed on practice news.
- Consider the example of a patient who, at a recent visit, commits to giving up smoking. To maintain communication with the patient and offer support and encouragement, a provider can schedule a follow-up email via the portal to ask the patient about his or her progress, you can invite them to an upcoming support meeting, or send reference materials that will help support him or her on the journey to being smoke free.
- Say your practice just received a new shipment of flu shots. You can leverage the reminder system to inform your patients that the shots are available and to encourage them to book an appointment.
- We have had a rash of bad weather this winter, you can use notifications to inform your patients that you are closed due to weather issues – making sure they stay safe at home during inclement weather and helping them reschedule appointments for another day.
The options are endless and only limited by your imagination.
Doing this on a routine, automated basis can help you drive volume at your practice. And, it is not only good for your practice, it is good patient care. It is also likely to result in increased patient satisfaction as patients see their doctor being proactive in thinking about their healthcare. Happy patients equal loyal patients. Finally, practices can improve their overall quality scores and potentially qualify for incentives from insurance companies as many of the quality indicators being created by health plans include demonstrated active management of chronic conditions, immunization rates, etc.