Measuring the ROI of Patient Attribution

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a change in the healthcare industry. This impacted physicians and patients and challenged them to adapt in more efficient ways through technology.

Independent providers face concerns regarding the growth and acquisition of new patients, especially when federal and state governments have created reimbursement models for large, outpatient medical systems.

However, using these digital solutions has made what was once a challenging task an easy one: tracking new leads and seeing how they converted into patients. 

A New Way to Measure Patient Attribution

There are essential aspects to consider when deciding on a marketing budget and how to spend on advertising. When thinking about your budget and how much to spend, both monthly and annually, it’s crucial to calculate new patient value. Do this for all types of patients. For example, if you are a general medicine practice, consider those patients who are primary care visits and those seeking treatment for a specific condition. This will not only give you insight into your current patient list but will help when deciding on a budget.

The two key indicators and determining factors are:

  • annual revenue per patient
  • how many new patients you get each month

Looking at these numbers will help you track budget goals and where you want to concentrate your efforts. It’s safe to start rather conservatively – find what works regarding advertising, engagement, and how much availability your practice has for new patient appointments. 

For the following few examples, let’s say the goal is ten new patients each month.

Simple Tracking with Achievable Goals

To gain ten new patients a month, we need to work back from that target. If only 15% of people who request an appointment on your website schedule an initial appointment or consultation, then our advertising and marketing efforts will need to attract approximately 67 leads every month. But not every person who sees your advertisement will request an appointment (or become a lead). Industry data suggests that only 2% of people who see an ad convert into a lead. This means over 2,200 people will need to see your ad each month to reach the goal of 10 new patients. 

The proper channels to create and run paid search ads are Google or Facebook. Knowing where your potential patients are spending their time is vital to understanding how you divide your ad spend budget. These platforms allow you to set a strict budget and forecast the approximate amount of spend used on your chosen keywords. This is also referred to as pay-per-click advertising. 

The amount of ad spend depends on the keyword density and competition for those keywords in your area and your target audience. Using all of these metrics is how we can determine our return on investment (ROI). 

Again, to land ten new patients a month, you may have a spend of $6,000. It may seem like a lot, but when you break it down to a new patient’s annual value, the ROI is a 4:1 ratio. Every dollar spent on advertising generates $4 in revenue. A yearly budget of $72,000 will generate approximately $300,000 in revenue!

Creating an Effective Strategy

Patient attribution is critical for practice growth and creating stability. Digital resources like publications, social media, and healthcare local listing profiles have changed how medical practices operate regularly.

COVID-19 affected healthcare practices, and that resonates through 2021 as practices are opening and patients are feeling more confident about going to in-person appointments. Patient education is more important than ever to help practices grow and succeed as the medical landscape changes. Telemedicine was widely adopted amongst healthcare providers and has had a lasting effect, as many practices are continuing to offer virtual appointments. 

This flexible model lets physicians and patients meet in various settings, which allows for a better relationship and stream of communication. This is critical in developing and retaining loyal patients who keep returning to your practice. 

An attribution model and determining an ad spend budget across various platforms ensures that you are spending wisely to convert the maximum number of leads into patients. 

Creating an attribution model that allows for flexibility in ad spend across various platforms ensures your practice is not wasting money on ads that don’t convert leads into new patients.