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.

Pharma Marketing Trends for 2013 – #1: Tailor Your Marketing Campaign

Dan Mathews, managing partner of Accenture’s UK Life Sciences Practice and chair of judges for the Pharmaceutical Market Excellence Awards (PMEA), was interviewed by PM Live earlier this year about what he feels to be the current trends shaping pharmaceutical marketing strategies.

He stated:

“For the first time people are able to scale marketing beyond the limits of sales force capacity. A key challenge is deciding which channels to [utilize] and when. When should you use the sales force? What role should digital play? … The next generation of marketing strategy will pick which channels work best based on robust channel impact data.

“A greater use of analytics supports this, but also enables marketing teams to understand customer segments and how to tailor your campaign to each. There will be more deployment of closed loop marketing, very successfully enabling marketers to see what’s happening with customers at a much faster frequency. The challenge lies in moving from data-overload to getting good insights and using them to adapt the marketing approach at speed.”

Success in today’s direct marketing environment takes more than great lists. MMS offers you a full range of services to help you master the medical market; from marketing research that discerns characteristics and trends in your target market to identify the right strategy, to tactical services that help you implement and successfully execute your plan.

Contact MMS today to learn how you can begin to tailor your message and check back each month until the end of the year for a new pharma trend. You can also subscribe to our updates to receive these trends directly to your inbox.

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).

Elizabeth Blackwell Would Be Proud

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)

On January 23, 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became what one might characterize as a medical Eve—the first woman to graduate from a US medical school. In spite of her pioneering entry into a the previously all-male bastion of medicine, women physicians remained a rarity over the following century. But, starting in the 1970s, more and more women broke into the field.

Reflecting the overall changes in professional mores, medicine has become a far more gender diverse calling. Women now comprise 31% of physicians, up from just 12% in 1981 according to an analysis of American Medical Association Physician Masterfile data by Medical Marketing Service, Inc. (MMS), the industry leader of healthcare mailing and telemarketing lists and doctor email lists. The increase is consistent with the increased participation of women in the professional workforce over a similar time frame. For example, 27% of lawyers were female in 2009, vs. just 8% in 1980, according to the American Bar Association.

The number of female physicians has increased by over 400% since 1981, while male physician ranks have increased by just 52%. The overall physician population has increased 35% since 1981.

“Medical marketers and physician recruiters are far more cognizant of the importance of women in the physician population,” according to Terry Nugent, MMS’s Vice President of Marketing. “In fact, women physicians are highly sought after by medical practices and hospitals, particularly in specialties such as Obstetrics and Gynecology.”

According to Nugent, marketers may wish to test marketing copy that is tailored by gender. “For example, if a physician recruiter thinks that women physicians generally prefer more flexible work schedules,  they may wish to emphasize flexible schedules and call responsibilities in their recruitment mailings and emails.

Pharmaceutical marketers may want to develop e-books, webinars and practice management seminars reflecting their research on practice management and other topics uniquely tailored to the unique concerns of women physicians, or facilitate networking opportunities for women in medicine.”

“The beauty of the AMA Physician List is that it has 100% accurate and comprehensive data on gender, so that marketers can confidently genderize their promotions. Gender information is obtained from medical schools as physicians matriculate into the medical education system, so its accuracy is unmatched.”

Multichannel promotions can also be segmented and targeted by gender. “Because our Med-E-MailSM is based on the AMA Physicians Professional Data, you can segment email marketing just as easily as direct mail and telemarketing lists” according to Nugent.

For more information on women in medicine over the past decades, go to

For more information on reaching women doctors via email with MMS doctor email addresses go to


What is Medical Marketing Service (MMS)?

MMS is the industry leader in healthcare professional lists and email marketing service. Our email marketing service reaches over 1 million healthcare professionals at double-permissioned email addresses from the best sources including the leading professional associations.  MMS was the original database licensee of the American Medical Association and has specialized in  healthcare professional list management for over 80 years.

For more information about MMS, visit