MGMA Mkt. Survey Results

I came upon a short yet recent survey on the MGMA web site where they were polling practice managers on “What works and what doesn’t” when it comes to marketing a practice.

They received a viable number of responses to qualify the survey results and the published answers gave an interesting insight into the state of marketing in today’s medical practice.

Note: Survey results came from a broad mix of Primary Care, Family Practice and assorted specialists.


1)      When asked: Do physician practices need to market their services more now than in the past…

81% said Yes     19% said No

2)      When asked: Have you increased your marketing, advertising budget over the past 5 years…

67% said Yes     33% said No

So…81% say they need to market more now than ever and yet 33% have not increased their budget over the past 5 years.

3)      When considering your top 3 marketing, advertising venues;

Which are the most expensive?

  • Sponsorship of events and charities
  • Yellow pages
  • Newspapers & Magazines

Which are the least beneficial?

  • Yellow pages
  • Sponsorship of events and charities
  • Health fairs

Which are the least expensive?

  • Social media
  • Health fairs
  • Speaking events by providers

Which are the most beneficial?

  • Social media
  • Speaking events by providers
  • Sponsorship of events and charities

It seems we cannot agree on sponsorship of events and charities as some see it as a most beneficial while others see it as least.   The “Take away” that I see from this is that social media and speaking events by providers appear to be the best return on investment for most practices!

Lastly the survey asked: What type of marketing, advertising venues do you currently use

64% still sponsor events and charities

43% still use yellow pages

17% invest in billboards

17% use radio

12% said TV

43% said newspaper advertising

31% noted magazine advertising


67% use special events

62% Social Media

55% speaking events by providers

55% Health fairs

19% use E mail marketing

Another take away from these survey results show that many of us get stuck in our old way of doing things despite knowing better. We’re still renewing the old yellow page ad, we’re still paying for that 3-color ad in the local community magazine, and we’re still supporting events and charities that don’t necessarily benefit us.

There are different ways to market general practitioners versus specialists but both would benefit by cutting their costs associated with the above highlighted venues while focusing their time and resources on speaking events, special events, social media and web presence.  A seasoned marketing rep from Practice-Reps can help you by contributing to your web site and Facebook page by keeping your content current for stronger SEO.  Your rep can create lunch and learns and other special events that strategically get you front of the right audience with the right message to build the relations needed to change referral patterns.

Stop doing the same old thing and getting the same old results.  Listen to your peers from MGMA and adjust your marketing venues and strategy for the best return on investment for your practice.

We know what works to grow a practice. Call us today, we can help.

Call 610-310-1621.

Lean Six Sigma on Referral Marketing

Alice Jarvis, PhD, is a lean six sigma management consultant who focuses on change management and continuous improvement for companies large and small here in the United States. ( Alice was recently working with a large ophthalmology practice in the Mid-Atlantic States when she called to see if we could be of help to her client. As a business consultant Alice believes in the social behavioral concept of building trust and relationships that lead to mutual support in the business world. Alice is accustomed to working with sales and marketing teams and she sees clearly the value we bring as field marketers for the medical practice. Alice offered her unsolicited recommendation of our firm to her client in the following text from her final report for the client

Endorsement by Alice Jarvis,PhD, Six Sigma management consultant:

Services“You do not depend on do-it-yourself web design or have a full time lawyer; you hire specialists in those fields. No one in the practice is trained as a sales person; this job should not be a do-it-yourself activity either. It is the foundation of maintaining and growing your profitability. It is not something that should be done without a strategy, sporadically, with ad-hoc activities, by amateurs.

Having physicians take time away from providing care and spending that time drumming up business is not a wise use of limited resources. Physician’s time is too valuable. They should spend as much time as possible providing care and generating revenue. A sales professional will know when a valuable activity such as presenting at professional meetings will be useful.

Pharmaceutical companies have proven the value of having drug reps call on physicians. Hospitals and other large medical organizations are now using full time practice reps who operate on the drug rep model. You do not have need for a full time sales rep so I strongly recommend using the services of a company that can provide this service.  A practice rep is the only viable route I can see for a dramatic growth in the number of new patients especially while you are putting stress on the relationships in the OD segment.

Practice Reps operates in this geographic area. I called them and Michael Ranson is your contact person:

Michael Ranson
Managing Partner
He would appreciate having an opportunity to present to you.

Practice Reps will charge you per sales call. There is no long-term contract and the service can be stopped or restarted at will. They are confident enough in their work and in the objective evidence of effectiveness that no long-term contract is necessary. Individual in-person calls by your sales rep will cost $__each and you will see a very high return on investment and a short pay-back time.

A sales rep will be assigned to represent you and only you in this catchment area.  They will use your business cards, and the referrers will see them as your representative, not an employee of Practice Reps.

Practice Reps’s claimed experience is that the typical specialty practice sees:

  • within 90 days, a significant increase in referrals from doctors who have already referred some patients. Within 180 days new practices will be sending.
  • within 12 months a 40% increase in referrals

Most Practices ask for 20-60 calls/month.  You can track the referrals you receive and easily monitor the return on your investment.”

Call today for a list of references from our past clients and to learn more about our approach to part time referral marketing for your practice.
Call 610-310-1621

Referrals are alive and well despite healthcare integration

We often hear from practices who are concerned about integration and the pressures being put upon referral sources once they’re purchased by the local health system.  Many physicians are concerned that referral marketing might prove fruitless in the face of this financial pressure.

In theory, this makes sense.  In reality, it’s not entirely true.

  • There are certain markets where integration has become complete and nearly every practice is owned by a health system, but these markets are few and far between.  In truth most competitive markets are still open to a great degree and many practices are still privately owned.  Even in a worst case scenario where 60% of the Primary Care practices are owned, 40% are still open and available to send to you. In markets such as this it’s important to develop a “call strategy” where we focus our time on practices which are open and willing to change their referral patterns. Done right we can have a significant impact with just a portion of that 40%!
  • All Doctors are “splitters”.  Even those whose practices are owned still tend to split their referrals for a variety of reasons.  Some base their choice on geography, insurance, even liability.  In short, most people don’t like to be told what to do and many enjoy sharing with others.

Most specialty practices can grow significantly if they simply get their “fair share” from doctors who split their referrals.

  • Many referrals are heavily influenced by the staff of the referral office.  They often have their own agenda to the benefit of the patient and ease of practice management and they can sway a large number of referrals to your office if you can prove the value of your practice to them and their patients.
  • Lastly, very few health systems can legally force their employees to refer to one provider over another.  At the end of the day it’s your license and your patients and you, as a provider, need to make the best choice for the benefit of your patient.

Field marketing works for the medical specialist, if it didn’t you would not see entire teams of physician liaisons from the local hospital calling on your referral sources.

We’ve been providing referral marketing for many years now and despite all the ACO’s and healthcare integration we still average a 40% increase in referrals for our clients.  It’s not as easy as it used to be but we’ve sharpened our tools and refined our strategy to the benefit of our clients.  Like you we’re working harder and smarter to provide you with the best ROI on your marketing dollars.

Give us a call at 610-310-1621

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