By now everyone has heard of the “ALS ice bucket challenge”, where chosen participants had to dump ice water on their head and donate to the ALS association.  In less than a month, donations from the ice bucket challenge totaled $94.3 million.  This was very different than the previous year during the same time, the ALS foundation only raised $2.7 million in comparison. Not only did this viral sensation raise awareness about the cause, it also secured a great deal of money for research.

Medical marketers can learn from the ALS ice bucket challenge and use the same tactics.  Follow these guidelines below to increase awareness on your next marketing campaign.

Keep it simple. The ice bucket challenge asks people to dump ice water on their heads and donate $10 to the ALS Foundation or donate $100 to the charity. The objective was clear and easy to understand.

Add immediacy to your message. The campaign worked so well because the challenge requires people to act within 24 hours. By giving your audience a deadline, the initiative will become a greater priority.

Make it an obligation. The campaign worked because it trapped the person nominated. If you didn’t join in, you faced a penalty. Your friends were waiting for your video so you didn’t want to disappoint them.

Educate your audience. The viral campaign drove awareness about ALS but the videos didn’t necessarily educate and inform people about the horrific disease.

Use video in your marketing strategy. The challenge demonstrates the power of video, especially now that smartphones make it easy to create and share videos.

To learn more these tactics please visit: http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/5-healthcare-marketing-lessons-als-ice-bucket-challenge/2014-08-28

Every business needs marketing of some kind, even if it is as simple as signage and your information listed in a directory. This is especially important for medical private practices. Without marketing it can make it difficult for potential and current patients to access you.
Looking to market more but have a tight budget? Listed below are some easy ways to market without spending extra money.
– When you are in a conversation where you are discussing what you do, show passion. Showing genuine interest in your practice and conveying to others that you love what you do will make them want to talk about you to others and market for you.
– Don’t just network with fellow doctors and known healthcare leaders. You never know the connections others have. Perhaps build relationships with your morning barista, your local grocery staff, church attendees, etc.
-Be a guest writer on medical blogs or start your own blog that drives readers to your website.
Use marketing avenues you feel comfortable with. If you are good at writing-write articles. If you are better with words, use your speech to persuade others and perhaps speak at your yearly medical convention

To learn more about how to market using your strengths please visit: http://pro.psychcentral.com/kickstart/2014/09/easy-marketing-for-your-private-practice/

Dental practices are relying more on marketing to attract and retain patients. To successfully keep your practice competitive, follow the three major components below.

Patient services

  • Offer incentives to patients who keep appointments.
  • Reward patients who follow through on recommended treatment plans.
  • Offer rewards for loyalty programs.

Examples for incentives can be free cleanings, discounts, free brushes, or complimentary services.

Targeting

A recent Gallup study shows one third of Americans haven’t made a visit to the dentist during the past year, and it shows a decline in visits among all groups surveyed with the exception of the 65+ age group. In today’s marketplace, dental

practices must meet patients where they are to attract visits or cater to the needs and wants of those patients to obtain that marketshare.

Branding

Characterize your dental practice persona. Use a unique logo and tagline. Incorporate a consistent color scheme and font type. Uphold etiquette requirements for every patient.

To learn more about these components please visit: http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2014/10/easy-to-execute-dental-marketing-ideas-for-any-practice.html

In today’s marketing environment, it’s almost impossible to not utilize social media.

According to a study by the Pew Research Internet Project, 87% of adults use the internet, and 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year.  However, these 87% and 72% statistics have a flip side: 13% of people are NOT using the internet at all, and 28% of internet users are NOT looking online for health information.

As the trend to communicate with and educate patients online continues to dominate, we can’t lose sight of the “offliners”—those who don’t share or seek health information online.

There are many reasons people are not looking online for health information.  A Pew analysis reports that “age and education are the most significant predictors of internet access, followed by health and disability status.”  Pew also reports that three-quarters of US adults who have less than a high-school education say they do not get health information online.

No matter what the reason, there is another fundamental truth that we must not forget.  People still crave personal interaction.  There’s a level of trust that happens when you have an in-person relationship that just can’t be recreated online.

To read more please visit: http://www.mmm-online.com/in-an-online-world-dont-forget-the-offliners/article/372791/

Admissions for hospitals and health systems are falling as higher insurance rates prompt patients to seek more affordable care elsewhere.  Hospitals, clinics and medical centers spent $1.8 billion last year on media trying to attract patients.

Many organizations are turning to mobile and social marketing that reaches the growing number of consumers who look online for healthcare information- the internet is helping patients make more informed healthcare choices.

Search is key 
Marketers used to utilize TV, radio, print and out-of-home ads to build brand awareness, but search-engine marketing is becoming a more significant part of plans.

Mobile 
Health-care marketers should build responsive sites that emphasize the mobile experience as consumers look for quick and easy access to wellness advice.

Smartphones with advanced video capabilities, like high-definition cameras, make it increasingly possible for patients to connect with quality doctors outside of their region and receive diagnoses. Telemedicine, in which patients receive treatment via Skype/phone also cuts costs for hospitals and patients, which is why more health-care companies are offering this type of support.

Social
 The power of the testimonial is key in health care, as patients and families researching diagnoses often turn to patients with similar experiences. Social media gives hospitals and clinics the chance to share patient stories and connect consumers.

To learn more about digital marketing please visit: http://adage.com/article/digital/digital-health-care-industry-s-rx-revenue/294940/

When the Affordable Care Act was first rolled out, Healthcare companies were expected to share the new cost do to the amount of increased customers they would be receiving. However, something unexpected has happened and the industry is receiving help from tax payers. Many states have spent about 700 million dollars this year to help cover the cost for their health plans. Private insurers are passing the tax along to policy holders in the form of higher premiums and Medicare health plans are getting the tax covered by the federal government. States will split the cost of Medicaid, with the federal government paying about 57 percent. It is estimated that health insurer tax will bring in at least $100 billion over the next decade from all insurers.
To read more, click: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2014/September/02/States-To-Help-Pay-Obamacare-Tax-On-Insurers.aspx

There are many estimates on how much ICD-10 Implementation will cost but you won’t have a real answer until you start observing cost for your practice. Regardless if you’re the most prepared healthcare organization, the new ICD-10 implementation will decrease your overall cash flow. The following are some great places to start adding up possible cost:
• Software and hardware
• Education
o Coder training
o Clinician education
o Awareness raising
• Testing related costs
• Staff time needed for:
o Implementation planning
o Training
o Testing
o Vendor management
• Consulting services
To read more, click: http://www.icd10watch.com/blog/icd-10-budgeting-what-are-some-costs-involved