The current healthcare marketplace is an environment of savvy consumers. Due to high-deductible health plans and patients taking responsibility for a larger chunk of the cost of their care, smart shopping has become a must. Online pricing comparison websites are a growing trend. These sites help consumers comparison shop for healthcare products and services based on quality and price.
Unfortunately, with limited funds in accounts such as HSAs and HRAs, patients may opt to forego all but the most urgent of healthcare needs, or attempt to find alternate treatment methods. Rehabilitation services may take a backseat as consumers attempt to tighten their purse strings. These days, rehabilitation providers need to promote the importance of their services and compete with other healthcare providers for patients.
The need for a marketing strategy
As the owner or manager of a rehabilitation clinic, attracting patients to your business in these competitive times may take some ingenuity and far-reaching marketing efforts. Consumers are inundated with healthcare ads and information from every angle — computer, radio, TV and mobile device. You’ll need to remind potential patients of the value of therapy in their health and well-being. Here are a few proven marketing tactics to get you started:
- Build a strong online presence. The internet is the way of the world, and one of the best ways to reach your potential patients. A strong online presence has three main components: website, social networking, and blogging. Investing in an attractive, up-to-date website with photos of your facilities and staff bios will set you apart from your competition. Use your Facebook and Twitter pages as a way to interact with consumers, promote your business, provide information and answer questions. A blog can provide information about the value of therapy services and position your therapists as subject matter experts within your industry. If you don’t have the in-house expertise or time to maintain your online presence, outsource these tasks to a marketing firm or consultant.
- Manage your facility’s reputation. You need to know what is being said online about your business. Nielsen’s survey confirms that online reviews and comparison guides influence consumer’s buying decisions. You can influence this process by asking patients to leave positive reviews, and overcoming negative reviews by actively commenting and responding to your critics. For more information about this topic, check out our past blog posts about communicating physical therapy as a valuable (and pain relieving) service, or our post on advertising the success of your facility.
- Advertise testimonials. The words of your satisfied patients are perhaps some of the best advertising you can have. Request patient testimonials and advertise these (with permission) on your website, social media pages, and brochures.
- Work with a provider network. Participating in a provider network can help your facility in a few ways. First, to join, you’ll agree to a contracted rate of service — this can be attractive to patients in need of care who are also looking to save on its cost. Second, since health insurance members can only receive network rates by visiting providers within their network, your participation can help you increase your patient volume. Third, since providers must be credentialed prior to joining a provider network, your participation will help establish the quality and value of your facility to the members of the health insurance plan.
- Promote your business at events. You can help spread the word by advertising your facility in places people will notice. Consider purchasing pens, stress balls, t-shirts or other items that will help get your name out into the marketplace. You can also sponsor or participate in charity events, such as bikes, runs or walks for a cause.
Need help supplementing your staff?
As your marketing begins working and your patient caseload increases, you may find you’re in need of additional staff! What a great problem! PT Solutions specialize in the staffing and recruitment of physical and occupational therapists and speech language pathologists and their assistants. Our experienced therapy consultants will work with you to find and place just the right healthcare staff for your unique facility needs. To learn more, contact PT Solutions today.