According to the Medical Group Management Association, practices should spend 1-3% of revenue on marketing. That could mean anything from newspaper ads to online marketing to paying someone to manage your web presence and social media activities. The best way to begin marketing a medical practice, however, is to increase the volume from your current base of patients. 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. The best pace to start is with the patients you already have.
Your practice management and electronic medical billing software is full of information that you can use to increase patient volumes and revenue. With the right EHR system, it should be easy to mine your data and identify patients who could benefit from additional services. The following categories of patients are the most obvious for active outreach:
- 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.
Again, with the right revenue cycle management system, all of this can be automated once protocols are set up. Patients matching pre-set criteria can be automatically identified and contacted for appointments via mail, email, text, or phone. Older systems may require a more manual, time intensive process or the purchase of services from a specialized vendor. Doing this on a routine, automated basis is not only good for your practice, it is good patient care. It is likely also to result in increased patient satisfaction in healthcare as patients see their doctor being proactive in thinking about their health care. 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.
Effective recalls can grow the volume of an average practice by 3-5%. But it is not only good for your practice financially, it is good for your patients.