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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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
Another way medical offices are generating increased revenue
is to contact patients who have not been back for an appointment in over
Take a look at your patient records and see who missed their annual
offices find it worthwhile to go back several years and contact even
patients. It is recommended that you use a letter in an envelope to be
compliant. Estimate the number of patients that have not been in and get
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
the address is still valid. If you try
to do this yourself the patient may have moved and it will be returned
you…or a worse case scenario can be the letter will be received by the
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.