As more healthcare services are paid out-of-pocket because the services are cosmetic or because a deductible hasn’t been reached, competition will grow fierce to attract cash-pay patients. Don’t think of this as solely being an issue for plastic surgeons or other doctors that only toil in cosmetic procedures and services. Even medically necessary services like X-rays, labs and colonoscopies will be paid out of pocket since a consumer will need to spend $5000 to $6000 before their high-deductible plan kicks into effect.
When healthcare providers attempt to attract cash-pay patients, the world of healthcare starts to look more like a typical business and less confusing. Not the strange amalgam of complex pricing structures and capitated rates within networks – see, even the terminology of our out-of-date healthcare system is confusing! Healthcare will become easier to navigate in the future because it will look more like Amazon.com in the sense that, because you’re paying out of pocket, you can pick and choose where you purchase those healthcare services.
So when the customer has a choice, you’ve got to get creative in reaching out to them and getting them to choose you rather than the joker down the street. The first decision is, who’s the demographic you’re trying to reach? I decided I wanted more millennials – people in their late 20’s and 30’s. And where are they? On social media!
How to Attract Millennials
Above, you’ll see one example of getting creative. I created a neon sign for my office that says, “I got stuck at PHPS.” PHPS is my practice, Pacific Heights Plastic Surgery. Getting “stuck” has a double-meaning…either they received a Botox or filler injection (and therefore got stuck with a needle) or we’ve created such a great, friendly, welcoming environment that they’re stuck in our office, not wanting to leave!
Patients that are interested, will take a photo next to the perfectly square neon sign after treatment, making it conducive to being posted on Instagram (or Facebook), and tagging their location (Pacific Heights Plastic Surgery). Their friends, and friends of friends, will see the post, get a chuckle and consider coming to see the same “hip” doctor. If we’re lucky, it’ll even go viral. And going viral is the 21st century version of “word of mouth” marketing!
You might think this seems silly, and well, on several levels it is. But on the only level that matters, it will attract the millennial demographic I’m searching for and it won’t seem so silly anymore!
If you want to find a doctor that understands the future of healthcare and will share their prices with you online, then click here for Dr. Kaplan’s prices.