Looking Ahead: The Value of A Physician’s Assistant

Physician’s Assistants are transforming the healthcare industry by extending the care provided by physicians and increasing overall access to care, crucial going into 2014 to adapt to the Affordable Care Act. It is vital to recognize the importance of this group in the healthcare industry and learn how you can connect your marketing with the growing number of physician’s assistants.

The flexibility of their schedule and versatility of their expertise makes physician’s assistants a key player in the healthcare industry and places them on the radar for your marketing plan. As the second fastest growing profession in the United States this decade, physician’s assistants often play a significant role in decision making and are an attractive option to connect with if the doctor is unavailable.

physician assistant

Physician’s assistants have prescribing privileges in all 50 states, and must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education to maintain their certification. Known for treating the “whole person,” physician’s assistant priorities are directly in line with those listed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These principles include: helping people live longer through preventing disease, eliminating health disparities, creating environments that promote good health and promoting healthy behaviors through all life stages.

With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, medical providers will look more often to physician’s assistants to make decisions and play critical roles in prescription and treatment decisions. Their general medical background allows for physician’s assistants to provide a range of care, including preventative, primary care and surgery. This will help the field grow an estimated 39% this year, as they become a viable choice for patient care and helping to offset physician shortages.

Medical Marketing Service, Inc. (MMS) offers a solution that allows you to target specific physicians and physician’s assistants through email. As the leading email marketing service to healthcare professionals, MMS email marketing campaigns are an accurate, up-to-date and highly effective marketing tool.

In affiliation with the American Academy of Physician’s Assistants, the AAPA-E-Mail (SM) list can help you reach over 95,000 physicians assistants through 100% opt in emails. The best addresses deployed through the best email service provider in healthcare gives you an unbeatable way to market to PAs while continuing to be cost-effective and provide return on investment.

For more information about AAPA-E-Mail or other email and direct marketing mail services, contact MMS at 1-800-MED-LIST or visit our website at http://www.mmslists.com/.

Results Are In: 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

B2B Marketing Benchmark Report
The details of the annual 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report have been released with the performance results of traffic to B2B websites for the year. Compromised of data from over 62 million visits, 215 million pageviews and 350,000 leads from more than 600 small and medium-sized B2B websites; the results of this report offer you insight you can use to improve your company’s website going forward.

Key findings of the B2B Marketing Benchmark Report include:

1.There is clear cyclicality in the B2B space with first quarter of 2012 and from September to mid-November, showing the strongest performance in terms of traffic.

2.Google is the single most important referring domain to B2B websites, responsible for over 36% of all visits.

3.Social media is still a small fraction of traffic and leads to B2B websites, contributing on average less than 5% of all traffic and leads.

4.Email shows high engagement rates as well as strong conversion rates with an average 2.9% lead conversion rate.

5.Paid search usage showed a constant decline among B2B marketers in 2012. Over 10% of companies in the report discontinued their paid search campaigns during 2012.

6.Twitter is the strongest social media channel for generating lead, outperforming Facebook and LinkedIn 9-to-1 with 82% of social media leads coming from Twitter.

Email shows the highest conversion rates compared to all other sources, which included referral, paid search, direct, organic and social media. The conversion rate of email, 2.89%, was by far higher than the average conversion rate of 1.6%. Email also ranked highest in pageviews per visit with a higher than average number of pageviews, 3.75, versus the average of 3.03, proving email to be the strongest source for conversion rate, as well as engagement.

The trend of email bringing in high engagement and conversion rates is expected to continue as more B2B marketers leverage email for lead nurturing as well as lead generation. Email should be, and needs to be, used for driving a constant flow of traffic to your website and creating repeat visitors. As the strongest channel of website engagement, your business can’t afford to miss the opportunity to utilize email going forward.

As the leader in email marketing services, MMS can find the email solution that fits your business. Our frequently updated and highly effective lists go to the email that physicians and healthcare professionals regularly use, that’s why MMS is able to offer an unsurpassed 97% deliverability rate. Learn how MMS help your business maximize its email potential by contacting us at 1-800-MED-LIST or visiting our website.

The Benefits of a Hometown Physician

According to a Family Medicine study, recent medical school graduates are almost five times more likely to practice in their hometowns or adjacent areas. It is important to recognize why this is an impactful decision, and has the ability to make drastic improvements in the level of patient care.

Oftentimes, a baby boomer returns home to care for elderly parents. However, younger graduates are moving back to their hometown as well for a multitude of different reasons. Deep roots in the community and the ability to provide medical services to a community you are connected with are two of the strongest reasons graduates are returning home. Also, as job searches begin to take considerably longer, it is comforting to be looking for a career in a community you are familiar with and care for on a personal level.

Regardless of the reasons why medical school graduates are returning home to practice, the benefit it offers to the patients deserves recognition. When there is an emotional connection to the area, and in turn the people that reside in that area, it is clear that the patients are cared for to the highest ability. This logic applies regardless of age, gender or specialty of care.

Forming a connection and building trust between physician and patient is vital in providing high quality care, and it is much easier to build trust when a commonality is shared between the members. When that element is strong, such as a pride and love for one’s hometown, it makes all the difference. The knowledge of the area, the history behind the town, and the hardships and successes the community has faced, all combine to form a stronger connection to the patients and deeper relationship between the patient and doctor. As the community grows, this relationship can be transferred among generations of family members, further strengthening the bond.

This thinking also holds true no matter the size of the hometown. Even large hometowns, or the metropolitan areas that surround them, carry a certain amount of pride in people. Consider how people can form a connection with a stranger about growing up in the same neighborhood in Chicago and find ways to relate to one another.

From a physician’s standpoint, returning to their hometown to practice can benefit them in other ways as well. Having knowledge of the area helps care for their patients by knowing the specific problems that affect the community, as well as knowing what resources are locally available for assistance and how to get in contact with them directly.

MMS offers marketing solutions that will connect you to the physicians and healthcare professionals you want to reach, through accurate and highly effective targeting options. Searchable by where a physician was born, licensed or trained increases your ability to make that connection and ensure the success of your marketing program.  For more information about how MMS can help your business with email and direct mail marketing services, contact us at 1-800-MED-LIST.

How the Sunshine Act will change Continuing Medical Education

Long-awaited and controversial, the final Sunshine Act rule has been released. Here is a quick recap of what has changed, and what you need to know going forward:

Where did the Sunshine Act rule come from?

A part of the Affordable Care Act, the Sunshine rule was released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to establish guidelines for the ways data is gathered and published in regards to finances among physicians, teaching hospitals, group purchasing organizations and drug and device makers. The Sunshine rule is the response to concerns that medical practice and research may be inappropriately influenced by the financial relationships between these groups.

What will change under this new rule?

A notable difference under this law is the change in reporting payments in relation to continuing medical education (CME) events. As long as drugmakers don’t select the speakers of the event, or directly pay them, they will not be required to report any payments made to the speaker. Specifically the law states that the drugmaker “does not select the speaker or give the CME provider a distinct, identifiable set of individuals to be considered as speakers, and the drugmaker does not directly pay the speaker.”

The new rule also states, “When (drugmakers) do not suggest speakers, they are allowing the continuing education provider full discretion over the CME programming, so the payment or other transfer of value will not be considered an indirect payment for purpose of these reporting requirements.”

Going forward under the Sunshine Act rule

Both sides have weighed in on the practice of drugmakers choosing speakers and providing material for their speaking events. On one side, this decision seemed to be expected and met with relief. It has been called “common sense” and allows for the CME programmer to have ultimate control over their event. However, on the other side, industry funding will continue to be the main source of paying for speakers. So going forward, choosing someone favorable may continue to be a tempting practice.

Do you think the right decision was made?

MMS strives to be an industry leader in email marketing services, offering solutions to physicians and healthcare professionals. Our years of experience and 97% deliverability rate will bring you a marketing campaign that is accurate, up-to-date and highly effective. For more information about our email and direct mail marketing services, contact MMS at 1-800-MED-LIST or visit us online.

Moving Forward with Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education

With the increased pressure for performance improvement, more physicians are using a continuing medical education (CME) model to assess the care they provide their patients and make measurable improvements.

Since its introduction in the early 2000s, the concept of Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education (PI CME) has rapidly grown. According to the Accrediting Council for Continuing Medical Education, 44,275 physicians and 7,492 additional health professionals participated in 502 PI CME activities in the United States in 2011. This is a substantial increase over the 744 physicians and 175 healthcare professionals that participated in just 22 PI CME activities offered in 2005.

With the current focus on healthcare reform, and as our system of care moves to quality over volume, the number of participants is expected to grow even more. Physicians will be looking at their current practice and striving to find ways to improve it.

Improving the Continuing Medical Education Model

Built from the original CME model, a key enhancement to PI CME is that is strives to show measureable results and puts increased emphasis on patient safety and quality of care. Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education has three main steps according to the American Medical Association:

1. An assessment of the physician’s practice using identified evidence-based performance measures

2. The implementation of an intervention

3. A re-evaluation of those performance measures to gauge improvement

Comparable Patient Outcomes

One of the biggest advantages of this model is that it allows for physicians to compare patient outcomes with national benchmarks. This can be more evident when providing care to patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease. By being able to compare the patient results with national data, the patient benefits by receiving more systematic, evidence-based care.

As the leading email marketing service, MMS uses their years of experience finding marketing solutions for physicians and healthcare professionals to deliver you the best lists available. For more information on the accurate and effective lists offered by MMS contact us at 1-800-MED-LIST or visit us online.

Journal Advertising Continues to be Effective and Cost Efficient Way to Advertise

Print Advertising is still an Effective and Cost Efficient part of a Multimedia Marketing Program

As we all know, the constant release of new media, and the way we use media, is unlike any other time in history. New forms of communication and ways of receiving information is changing faster than it ever has. There’s no doubt that any plans for the use of traditional media must be made cautiously. Modest increases in medical and surgical journals demonstrate that this type of print advertising is still an effective and cost efficient part of a multimedia marketing program.

The Top 5 Medical / Surgical Journals ranked by Ad Revenue in 2011

  • Journal of the American Medical Association – Ad pages down 1.1%
  •  New England Journal of Medicine – Ad pages down 17.6% (665 pages)
  • Monthly Prescribing Reference – Ad pages up 28% (354 pages)
  • American Family Physicians – Ad pages down 10% (148 pages)
  • Medical Economics – Ad pages up 30% (269 pages)

Top 25 Advertised Companies of 2011

Of the top 25 Advertised Companies of 2011, only five declined. The remaining 20 all showed page increases. Companies with the most significant changes include Consultant, which is back in the top 25 after it was 63rd in 2010. Neurology Today had 48% page growth, moving up 7 spots to 16th. American Medical News is up 57% in the last two years, lining itself up for a spot in the top 10 this year. Arthritis Care and Research has made significant gains, moving from 67th to 22nd, with 97% page growth in the last two years. MMS Circulation Management is proud to have contributed to the publishing industry’s success in print and digital.

Drastic Increases in Advertising Spending

Forest is clearly the top advertiser having increased spending by 59% ($22 million) to $60 million. Eli Lilly increased spending nearly has much with a 56% increase ($31 million.) Regardless of their individual increases, Forest and Eli Lilly are still separated by almost $30 million in overall spending.

Other drastic increases in advertising spending include Abbott, new to the top 10 list with a 117% increase in spending. Also noteworthy are newcomers to the top 20 list, Purdue with a 160% increase and Bristol-Myers Squibb with an 86% increase.

Newly advertised products only accounted for almost a quarter of the top 100 products, but ongoing advertising support was seen with previously established brands. Eight of 2010’s top 10 products were seen in 2011’s top 25 list. The wide range of products and the media outlets are allowing for a balanced, healthy advertising market.

2012 off to a Slow Start

The last two quarters of 2010 approved eight of the 15 NMEs that were approved that year, leading to a strong start to 2011. Unfortunately, this did not repeat itself going into 2012. Of the 23 NMEs approved in 2011, only two were approved in Quarter 4 of that year, and they were not significant enough to create the movement we had going into 2011. Also, the patents for Pfizer’s Lipitor, Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa and Janssen’s Levaquin have expired, which could account for the slow start to 2012 as well. Hopefully these fluctuations won’t prove to be too damaging and the momentum will pick up for the second quarter.

Landing Pages for Recruiters – Don’t Go Home!

When you invite prospective doctors to interview for positions in your hospital, do you show them to your lobby and leave them there for hours? Of course not!

Then, why do so many medical recruiters link their open positions to the home page of their website?

Be specific and create a landing page.

Email Marketing Landing Page

According to HubSpot, a landing page is a website page that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a lead form. A good landing page will be targeted to a particular stream of traffic – say from an email campaign advertising an open position – and, because it is targeted,  you will convert a higher percentage of your website visitors into leads with which you can follow-up.

Understand what to include in your lead form.

Email Marketing - Landing Page SEO

On your landing page, there should be a lead form. The goals of the lead form are simple:

  • Collect marketing information
  • Guide visitors through a process
  • Enable a transaction
  • Communicate
  • Verify identity
  • Manage customer support requests

For the purposes of medical recruiting, the recruitment form should also communicate the available job listings, allow the visitor to select the opening he or she desires and provide a resume.

Capture interest and don’t let go.

Email Marketing Landing Page Usability

Here are some of the most important elements to make sure your landing page holds your visitor’s interest (courtesy of HubSpot):

  • Limit Navigation. You’ve brought your targeted traffic to a page where they can take your desired action. Don’t distract them! Limit the number of exits from your landing page so that your visitors are focused on filling out your form. A key part of this is to hide your website navigation elements on landing pages.
  • Deliver Value. If you have a valuable offer, your visitors will give up their contact information in exchange for your offer. Ask yourself if your offer is compelling to your audience and make sure that your landing pages demonstrates that value.
  • Keep it Short. The longer your landing page and form, the more friction you add to the lead conversion process. Keeping your lead form short and straightforward will increase your conversion rate.
  • Test, Test, Test. As many best practices as you may read about online, your landing page can always use more testing and improvement. Make sure you have a landing page creation tool that allows you to create and test many different landing pages to see what works best for your business. 

How MMS Makes Medical Recruitment Easy:

Medical Marketing Services

Personalized URLs (PURLS)

You can use a PURL with a landing page customized for an individual doctor. It’s a great way to track responses down to the individual doctor. It will increase response rates and you can pre-fill the response information with the person’s name, address, email address, etc.

Integrated Email and Direct Mail Services

While direct mail is still a powerful direct marketing tactic, it works even better when integrated with email marketing, which has the highest return on investment (ROI) of any direct marketing technique.

Call MMS today and we can help guide you to developing an integrated marketing campaign that will help improve your results and ROI. You can reach us at 1.800.MED.LIST (633.5478).

How Will You Market When Pharmaceutical Samples Go Away?

An article in Medical Marketing and Media Magazine, titled “Samples no Longer Hold Sway in Pharma Marketing Mix: Study,” by Deborah Weinstein, discusses how the use of pharmaceutical samples has changed in the past few years.

Published February 21, 2012, an industry consultant, Richard Vanderveer, notes how the once standard method of sampling and detailing products has shifted to focus on the type of medicine practiced instead. Less face time between doctors and sales representatives, as well as larger organizations having control over the procedures used within the office, has resulted in samples becoming almost unnecessary. Representatives are frequently using only a brochure to promote the product. However, in relation to new prescribers, the use of samples has remained a powerful sales tool.

Medical Marketing Service circumvents the issue with providing medical samples by placing pharmaceuticals with doctors wherever they are – via email. With doctors’ increasing use of smartphones and an increase in email click and response rates, email marketing is increasingly becoming the most appropriate method to attract physicians to request more information about new and emerging medicine.

As healthcare laws change, will you change your marketing strategy to make your sales goals? Contact MMS today at 630.477.1559, sales@mmslists.com, or visit www.mmslists.com. Follow MMS on Twitter @mmsemail.

Special Focus: Is the Sunshine Act Demeaning to Doctors?

In Sunday’s Wall Street Journal, an article titled “Who Paid for your Doctor’s Bagel,” featured Thomas P. Stossel, M.D. who heatedly makes his case with the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, “which requires that pharmaceutical companies that make drugs purchased by government programs publicly disclose any payments or perks they give to physicians with a value above $10”. It also requires physicians to declare income from drug companies.

What are your thoughts about the Sunshine Act? Do you find it to be demeaning to doctors?