We first met David Brooks last year when we interviewed him about his work at the start-up qliqsoft. David contacted us recently to tell us about a new company he started called Medlio.
Disclosure: Based on our belief in this product (you’ll see why!) we are proud to be advisors to Medlio.
Mary Pat: Medlio is called a “virtual health insurance card,” which is pretty intriguing right off the bat. Give us the back story on Medlio and tell us what it does for patients and for physicians.
History is full of marketing disasters, and some are funnier than others. One addition to the ranks is the recent Cheat Death campaign created by North Carolinas Caromont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia. Intended to promote healthy eating and increased exercise, the medical marketing campaign backfired badly when local government leaders had to step in and ask the hospital to reconsider the slogan. Apparently community members responses ranged from amusement to outrage, with some thinking it was silly while others considered it blasphemous. We have no way of knowing how much the failed campaign cost the hospital but one thing is certain: the money would have been better spent on market research and testing ahead of time.
Step #1: Conduct Market Research
Most readers know that I have a special interest in helping physician practices survive and thrive, and have been writing recently about different models of care that physicians are adopting to make private practice financially viable. Here’s an interview with Scott Borden of Direct Care Consulting, who helps practices convert to a Direct Pay Model. ~ Mary Pat Whaley
Mary Pat: What is your background, Scott?
Scott: I am a passionate Health Savings Account (HSA) expert. My background has been in health insurance marketing and management for 23 years. I have been heavily involved with Consumer Driven Healthcare for the past 15 years. I have been both a talk radio show host and guest on hundreds of shows over the past 8 years. I have also been featured on several television broadcasts and been a guest speaker for dozens of organizations.
Mary Pat: Your company is calledDirect Pay Consulting and you help primary care practices transition to a Direct Payment Care (DPC) model – will you explain what that model is? (more…)
On Friday, February 1st, The Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their final regulations on the Physician Payment Sunshine Act that was passed as a part of Heathcare Reform in 2010. The PPSA or “Sunshine Act” mandates that any manufacturer of medical supplies, medical equipment or pharmaceuticals will disclose to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) any payments, gifts, or “transfers of value” over $10. The resulting disclosures will be publicly available in a database of transactions so that there will be “sunshine” on any financial relationships, direct or indirect, between providers and manufacturers. All of the disclosure requirements are the responsibility of the vendor, but the public nature of the resulting data has implications for day to day operations in your practice, as well as any relationships you might have with prominent manufacturers.
What is the Purpose of the Sunshine Act? (more…)
Greg Fawcett has been a key partner for our clients and readers by providing us with a marketer’s perspective on how to get your practice’s message to your current and potential patients. In this blog post, originally published on the Precision Marketing Partners Blog, Greg discusses the building blocks to a successful marketing strategy.
Medical practice marketing is now a fairly common concept for many physicians and clinics. It wasn’t always that way, however, and Evanston Hospital in Illinois was one of the first healthcare institutions to create an official marketing position within the company. Now, it’s widely accepted that without a comprehensive healthcare marketing strategy, your practice is unlikely to be as successful in new patient acquisition as it might. If you recognize you need marketing but simply don’t know where to start, here are some essential steps to healthcare marketing that will put you on the right track.
Step 1: Identify Your Patient (more…)
I have not always been excited to hear patient complaints. As a younger manager I absolutely dreaded when a patient wanted to speak to me. I felt that I had little to offer a patient who expressed anger or frustration with something that had happened and I was very impatient to get past the complaint and get back to my “job.”
Now, I can’t wait to hear patients’ complaints. Complaints are the only opportunity managers have to understand the patient’s experience and hear in their own words what went wrong for them. By listening carefully, you have the potential to accomplish several goals.
- You can heal the patient’s complaint, first by making sure the patient feels heard, and second by addressing the problem if something needs to be done.
- You can gain insight into an experience in the practice and dissect it to see why the problem occurred and what can be done to fix it.
- You can model to the staff how important patient complaints are and how seriously you take them. (more…)
Greg Fawcett has been a key partner for our clients and readers by providing us with a marketer’s perspective on how to get your practice’s message to your current and potential patients. In this blog post, originally published on the Precision Marketing Partners Blog, Greg talks about the steps you can take to attract patients to a new medical practice.
Starting a new practice, particularly in an area where a number of medical professionals already operate, presents the challenge of patient acquisition. Here are some basic methods of medical practice marketing that can get your name out in the neighborhood and draw patients in.
- Create branded brochures listing your areas of specialty and the services you offer. Get the brochures professionally designed and printed on quality paper stock. Include your contact details, the name and URL of your website and blog, and invite them to follow you on social media.
- Connect with local pharmacies and non-competing medical practices such as physical therapy clinics, dental practices and home health equipment stores and ask them to display your brochures on their reception counter. Also visit libraries, community centers and your local YMCA to offer your marketing materials for distribution to their clients. (more…)
You might think I’m crazy, but this is a really good time to start a solo practice, especially for primary care providers.
Many physicians want to control how they deliver care and as independent thinkers, do not care to be told how to practice medicine. Whether you are disenchanted with your current practice, tired of being an employee, or fresh out of residency, this is a great time to venture out on your own.
With more changes coming to healthcare in 2013 and 2014, should practices be looking at traditional marketing, social media marketing, or do they even have to market at all? I asked healthcare marketer Greg Fawcett from Precision Marketing Partners to talk to me about the future of marketing for the medical practice.
Mary Pat: There is currently a physician shortage that is expected to become more severe in the coming years. If each physician is expected to have more patients than s/he can handle, why is marketing a medical practice important in the current/future environment?
Greg: Natural attrition contributes to the loss of clients in all types of businesses, and medical practices are no exception. No matter how many patients you have or how loyal they are, death, relocation or a switch to managed care programs that you don’t belong to are bound to reduce your client list over time. Unless you’re vigilant and market consistently to replace those patients you lose, you’ll wake up one day to the realization that business isn’t what it used to be!
Here are a few of the reasons why you need to do medical practice marketing:
- Establish your practices reputation as specialists in a particular field of medicine
- Attract new patients to build your practice
- Increase awareness of your practice and create a dominant presence in your specific community
- Improve your efficiencies and maximize the return on your financial investment
Everybody wants their medical practice’s website to rank at the top of Google search results for their target keyword phrase. Dominating Google can get your medical, dental, or chiropractic in front of people who are actively looking for exactly what your business offers – something that print, radio and television advertisements are not as effective at doing. Simply put, a top-ranking website can be a business owner’s dream come true.
But most business owners don’t know much about search engine optimization. And getting to the top of Google search results is not a cinch. Depending on the competitiveness of a keyword phrase, it can take months (even years) for a site to climb to the top of the Google ladder.
Don’t let this reality distract you from taking action, though. If your website is new or just isn’t meeting your expectations, there are some simple and powerful things you can do in just fifteen minutes that will help make your medical practice website more search engine friendly.
So here’s the challenge I am issuing you right now: take fifteen minutes to do (or make sure you have done) these three things. After you do, come back and let us know how it went in the comments section below. And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to email me. I reply to every email.
Ready? Here, we go:
#1. Identify your primary target keyword phrase (time: 5 minutes)
Your primary target keyword phrase is the main phrase you will optimize your site for. It is the phrase that members of your target market will use the most to find products and services that businesses like yours offer.