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Direct Mail

The Benefits of Bulk and Direct Mail Services for Your Medical Office

Most healthcare offices think bulk or direct mail services are not needed in their offices because it is to expensive or it is just for marketing, but there is a need for it in almost any office. It is true, direct mail is one of the best ways to attract new patients, but it can also be used for billing, patient notifications and appointment reminders. When you consider cost savings or revenue generation a good direct mail company can provide both for you. The two scenarios are explained here…

Cost Savings

Every medical office looks at cost savings and efficiency but have you ever really calculated the true cost of what it takes to send out appointment cards, letters or your billing information. To do an accurate cost analysis you most look at what you spend on a monthly and yearly basis for material, labor and postage.

Let’s use an example of a seemingly simple item like appointment reminder cards. If your office sends out hundreds of reminders a month you probably would be better off using a mail service. Here’s why…

  1. Think about how much you spend with your printing or supply company for the postcards.  Consider the time it takes to order them and the shipping costs too. A good medical direct mail company can have similar cards ready to go when you need them and typically at half the price you pay the printer or retail location.

  2. How long does it take to fill them out and address them? What do you pay your staff to do this and is there something more important that they could be doing? Your mailing company includes this as part of their service and imprints the address information in a way that insures deliverability…no more notes back from the mailman saying they can’t read the address.

  3. How much do you pay for postage and how many cards get returned back to you? This is probably the most important cost to calculate. The term “Bulk Mail” means that your cards are being mailed at reduced bulk rates.  These rates are typically about half the price of a first class stamp.

    The bulk process also requires the mailing company to verify the addresses through the post office at the time of mailing.  This means every card will be delivered and none will come back. You can also request from your mailing company a report of any mail that is undeliverable or address changes for patients so you can adjust your records. Try asking your mailman for that. 

When you add all the costs of doing it yourself, combined with the reliability of delivery and corrected address reports you can see the true benefits…and this is just the appointment reminders. If your office handles client billing internally, a bulk mailing company may save you even more.  They can save you on the envelopes, paper, laser printer costs, postage and most importantly time.

Revenue Generation

There have been a lot of innovations in direct mail over the years.  The new age of digital printing and the ability to pull mailing lists with just about any demographic means you can put a quality customized mailing piece in the hands of a potential new patient in no time. There really is no other way to target a geographic area, income level, age group or other demographic like direct mail.

A direct mail company that specializes in healthcare marketing can even pull lists of people that have requested information about a certain ailment.  These lists are HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) compliant because the consumer has requested information about the ailment or condition.  A Dermatologist can order lists of people that have requested information on rashes, acne, eczema or other skin ailments.  A Cardiologist can order lists for high blood pressure. A Chiropractor can order lists for people requesting information on back pain or migraine headaches.  Just about any specialty medical field can reach people who want information on their condition.

Bulk mail postage can be as low as $.015 each for a postcard that measures 6 x 11 inches when you do saturation mailing.  That is about 3 times bigger than a standard postcard and 3 times less than a first class stamp. If you use a specified mailing list where only certain people receive the mail piece the postage is typically about half the normal first class rate. A good direct mail company will look at all the options and recommend the most effective way to target your audience.

Another way medical offices are generating increased revenue is to contact patients who have not been back for an appointment in over one year. Take a look at your patient records and see who missed their annual exam. Many offices find it worthwhile to go back several years and contact even more patients. It is recommended that you use a letter in an envelope to be HIPAA compliant. Estimate the number of patients that have not been in and get a quote from your direct mailer to print the personalized letter and stuff the envelope.  All you will have to do is provide the list. Remember the mail house will run the list through the current postal records to see if the address is still valid.  If you try to do this yourself the patient may have moved and it will be returned to you…or a worse case scenario can be the letter will be received by the wrong person and may be a HIPAA infraction.

When looking for a direct mail company make sure they specialize in healthcare mailing.  They will be able to insure HIPPA compliance and should assume the liability for anything that is not compliant. Healthcare mailing companies will also have the ability to print and mail your billing items, provide medical mailing materials, design effective campaigns and be able to pull certain medical lists that are compliant with current regulations.

There are many more ways bulk or direct mail may increase your offices bottom line.  The best thing to do is find a company that can handle the design, printing and mail needs of your medical office. Meet with their representatives and explain how your office works, and how you would like it to work better. They should be able to come back with a few ideas that will save you time and money while increasing your revenue in the long run.  That is a thing very few businesses can do.

Please contact customer service for additional information and pricing.
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