Cost-Effective Practice Growth

cost-effective-patient-attribution

The pandemic has accelerated change in the healthcare industry and this impact has made both physicians and patients to adapt to how needs will be met in more efficient ways utilizing digital technology.

One of the biggest challenges independent providers face is acquiring new patients and growing their practice when the government has reimbursement models in place for large, outpatient clinics. 

What has been historically a challenging task for many physician practices, patient attribution, is now easier than ever. Turning to digital solutions, which make tracking and converting leads to quality patients, is much simpler now than in the past. 

Cost-Effective New Patient Attribution

Determining your digital ad spend budget can feel like a real challenge, but there are two key considerations to help make a smart decision. Plan out the average annual new patient value. While an annual average works well across all patient type, you should also consider the specific mix of procedure patients. For instance, a vein center practice may see 50% general treatment for varicose veins and only 15-20% for a specific treatment such as Varithena® or VenaSeal™. Getting to a deeper understanding of your current patient mix will show up directly in the accuracy of your forecast.

For these purposes, let’s assume that the average annual revenue per patient lands at $2,500. The second key consideration is how many new patients you want to bring into the practice on a monthly basis. We recommend starting conservatively, finding what works well in terms of advertising, patient engagement, and, of course, how many open slots there are on the schedule.

Monthly Goals Equal Simpler Tracking

To keep things basic, we’ll say our goal is 10 new patients per month. Then we need to project how many of those who request an appointment will actually schedule and have an initial appointment.  Again, to keep things simple let’s say we expect 15% of folks who call in to convert.  This shows us that to get our 10 new patients/month, our marketing effort needs to generate 67 leads per month.  Here, we make another assumption. Not everyone who sees an ad will request an appointment (becoming a lead). In fact, the industry average in healthcare is just over 2%. That gives us a total of 2,234 people who need to see a relevant ad to get us to 10 new patients per month.

The most common demand generation tactics are paid search ads on Google or Facebook lead ads. Each of these channels allows you to set a budget and will forecast the amount you’ll need to spend on specific keywords that users will click on to learn more. This is known as pay-per-click advertising. The total amount of ad spend will vary depending on the level of competition for your keywords and the geographic footprint of your target audience. And this is how we get to our ROI.

We may estimate a spend of $6,000/month in order to generate 10 new patients, and that may sound like a little or a lot. But at an average annual value of $2,500 that gives us an ROI over 4:1!  For every dollar we’re spending we’re generating $4. Over the course of a year this program will generate $300,000 in revenue with a total spend of $72,000.

Build an Effective Attribution Strategy

For physician practices, patient attribution is crucial for growth and stability, which also holds them accountable for providing quality care. Patients have certain expectations when visiting a provider, simply by having access to physician reviews. Social media, digital publications, and online resources for patients are changing the way physicians and practices operate on a daily basis. 

As the global pandemic continues to affect healthcare practices, patient education and attribution is critical for practices to grow and thrive with measurable success amongst the changing landscape. Patients are offered greater flexibility and comfort thanks to a surge in telemedicine offerings. Telehealth is altering the way physicians see their patients and in turn, how patients are receiving the same level of quality care. 

Many clinics are shifting to a flexible model that allows them to see patients either virtually or in-office. This means that maintaining a strong physician-patient relationship is more important than ever and retaining loyal patients becomes crucial to practice growth. Creating an attribution model that allows for flexibility in ad spend across various platforms ensures your practice is not wasting money on ads that don’t convert leads into new patients. 

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