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Healthcare Staff Benefits advertising?

Discussion in 'Practice Management' started by Mfreedman, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Mfreedman

    Mfreedman Member

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    Hi all

    I've just sat through a presentation from a rep from an organisation called "Healthcare Staff Benefits". They put an advert for your services (which you provide at a discount) to NHS staff, advertised on their website which NHS staff are encouraged to use. You pay for the ad itself and the idea is that NHS employees will come to your practice as you are offering them a discount (typically about 10%). I just wondered if anyone has experience of these schemes and are they any good? Any comments appreciated!

    Many thanks!
  2. Ideology

    Ideology Active Member

    Hi Mfreedman
    Not so easy to answer. There are a number of things to think about.
    1. 10% is not much of an incentive. Most patients pick a practitioner based on word of mouth referral, reputation and location. Very few will travel a distance to get a 10% discount.
    2. If you already have NHS employee patients you might incur a loss of the 10% so factor this in
    3. Do you have some sort of exclusivity for your local area or service type? If not this diminishes the benefit quite a lot.
    4. What is the cost/volume/profit relationship? You know what the scheme costs. You need to know your average income per patient, or if you are really clever, you av income per NHS employee patient, bearing in mind that a 10% discount will require nearly 20% increase in patients to cover the fall in gross profit. That's just to get you back to where you started, before you have paid the scheme costs. SO how any patients do you need and is this realistic?
    5. If you have unused capacity in your practice and are trying to grow it, the scheme might still be worth while if you get even a few patients.
    6. How will these people get the NHS employees to look at the web site? It is not self-promoting. What's their marketing plan for the web site? Have they included social media?
    Its a clever scheme. Set up a web site for a few hundred pounds. List local businesses for a modest fee on a perpetual basis. Almost no overhead costs. If it falls apart after 12 months we have made a nice little bundle and move on to physios or chiropractors of something else.
    Ask them to demonstrate effectiveness. If they can't ask what they are then selling?
    Hope this helps
  3. Mfreedman

    Mfreedman Member

    Hi Ideology

    Thanks for your analysis! I have decided not to go ahead with the scheme; I'm pretty busy in my practice so it seems silly to try and fill my few empty slots with patients at a discounted fee which will cost me to get them through the door! I wonder if people do find these schemes successful?

    Many thanks

  4. Ideology

    Ideology Active Member

    In my experience they do not work well, but if they cost little and its part of a broader program of community exposure its can be sometimes justified. Almost always though I recommend direct marketing or authority marketing approaches. I'd say don't do it.

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