Quality healthcare provider data is the foundation of any marketing campaign aimed at physician and dentist offices, the practitioners themselves, and every kind of hospital and medical facility. The good data just isn't free, even though it can be downloaded in thousands of pieces from various government websites. CarePrecise simplifies and maximizes the sometimes complex and hard-to-find (or shockingly expensive) resources by providing reliable and comprehensive data on healthcare providers in the United States at truly affordable pricing.
Free Healthcare Provider Data
Free data on U.S. healthcare providers is available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But with a few exceptions, the data files are difficult to understand, and many are simply too large to use in ordinary office computer software. Vendors like CarePrecise, Definitive Healthcare, and OneKey sell data that has been curated and organized for much easier use. This article is a guide to using purchased data, and will spotlight CarePrecise products. That said, CarePrecise also helps its customers locate freely available data to supplement its solutions.
CarePrecise offers a number of different provider data solutions to meet specific needs. Marketers want instant access to information like practice locations, practitioner specialties based on the standard Provider Taxonomy codes, co-located colleagues, their group and hospital affiliations, and more. With these details, marketers can create compelling campaigns for audiences that are more relevant and targeted than can be achieved with blanket campaigning.
CarePrecise data resides on your own desktop or laptop computer — there's no need to learn to code for an API, and no need for a database server. These data packages are designed for easy use with the familiar programs in Microsoft Office. You can search, sort, filter, and export data in formats such as CSV or XLSX to quickly capture insights. The complete database of all 7 million+ U.S. healthcare provider records can be used instantly to create tightly targeted campaigns, with no requirement for an Internet connection.
After you purchase a data package, you'll extract it to a folder on your computer. Depending on which components you choose, you'll use Microsoft Access or Excel to view and manipulate the data. If you've chosen CarePrecise Platinum, there's a software program, CP ListMaker, that "rides on top" of these enormous data files, and makes easy work of selecting the types of providers, their specific geographic locations by zip code, city, county, state, or the entire U.S., and with additional filtering by other attributes like gender, acceptance of Medicare, years in practice, and number of practitioners in the office. This data, priced in the tens of thousands of dollars by other companies, starts at $459. You can add additional modules as needed, and CarePrecise offers an upgrade path so you can upgrade economically. If you want the whole universe of CarePrecise's provider data,* The Collection offers what others charge $30,000 and more for at just over $3,000 — an order of magnitude less expensive — and you won't have to mess with an API or dodgy web access.
We'll cover some physician marketing specifics here, but most apply to other kinds of medical offices as well.
Marketing to Physicians
Connecting with busy physicians is one of the most arduous tasks associated with physician marketing, but good data and good tools make it simpler.
Each physician holds the power to influence millions of dollars in healthcare purchases every year — a fact that has resulted in an overwhelming amount of marketing messages vying for their attention. The COVID-19 pandemic sent billions more marketing messages through the pipeline, from sellers of everything from masks and hand sanitizer to ventilators. While that traffic has thinned out now, many of those companies got a taste of physician direct marketing, built out the capability to deploy it, and are not likely to just walk away. We're in a whole new world of selling to frontline clinicians.
Here are the top things to keep in mind...
Different StrokesSegment your campaign into blocks of providers with different attributes. If you’re unsure which patient practice will be your best prospect, testing out different specialties can provide the answer. CarePrecise Platinum simplifies this process by splitting your list into specialties, allowing for easy comparison of responses between a product landing page or reply card. Try it today to easily identify which of your ideal prospects spending money.
Do you sell primarily to large group practices, or small, sole proprietors? CarePrecise Platinum can help you target individuals or groups, and sort them by size.
Analyze various urban and rural areas, their proximity to a city's center, state borders, etc. to identify the most budget-friendly sections for your business operations. You can even layer these elements on top of one another in order to pinpoint precisely which areas will be the best fit for your marketing campaign. Maximize campaign ROI: Reach out to all market segments by putting together an impactful message that can then be tested and spread throughout each area once you've determined which is most effective.
Gender can be important, too. We live in a time of high sensitivity to gender, in our personal relationships, speech, and writing. Knowing the gender of the person receiving your message can help you to avoid negatives, and maybe pack in some positives. There are important differences in the responses of people identifying as women, men, genderfluid, and the many shades in between. Understanding the language of gender, and being mindful of its subtlety and power, and basic. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Health and Human services has not seen fit to allow healthcare providers to report as anything other than M or F, but CarePrecise faithfully brings all of that information to you, along with intelligent genderization of organizations' authorizing officials, whose records do not include a field for gender.
Make it PersonalIt's essential that your direct marketing campaign is as tailored to the specific doctor you are targeting as a specialist. Since what might be effective for one type of physician may not apply to another, it's important to address each individually. Your product or service can assist a wide variety of specialists, yet when speaking directly with a sports medicine doc, specifically mention how it benefits them and their specialty - this will have greater impact than using generic language.
If you want to maximize the impact of your message, consider tailoring it according to geographical location. After all, rural doctors and hospitals may have unique requirements that suburban multi-physician practices don't typically face. Similarly, small or solo practice clinicians possess a different mindset than their counterparts in large organizations - this should be kept in mind when crafting messages for them as well.
This sort of segmenting is vastly easier when you have practitioner data in a form that's easy to manipulate, and the ability to create separate lists for each angle.
Maximize the physician's time and yours
Educate, starting with the first sentence
Physicians are professional learners. They diagnose by observation, seeking every detail to shed light on what they see. They tend to be more attracted to factual information than the average consumer. Making sure your message stands out and provides tangible value is key to success when targeting physicians. To ensure that critical information reaches your physician, it is important to cut out irrelevant details and create a succinct message. Make sure the communication is direct and professional so that gatekeepers will be able to recognize its importance quickly. This guarantees that vital facts are transmitted directly to the doctor without wasting time or getting lost in an overload of data. Generic-looking mailers with names and addresses in all capital letters, or a salutation like "Dear Doctor:" are lame!
The SharpMail tool in CarePrecise's CP ListMaker makes your written words to physicians look smart and professional by proper-casing name and address information. SharpMail saves time by creating intelligently "attention names" (the full addressee name, like Dr. Sandra Rosenfeld, DO) and salutations (the name part of that "Dear Doctor" greeting, like Dr. Rosenfeld or Ms Rosenfeld). SharpMail is aware of whether a particular person should be addresses as Dr., Mr., Mrs., or Ms, according to their reported preference of name prefix and/or status awarded the "doctor" honorific. SharpMail is designed specifically for the medical market, and it produces beautiful names and addresses, but it's offered as open source code within CP ListMaker, and licensed customers may adapt it to their own needs.
Consider mailing information about your product that puts indicators and counter-indicators for use right up front, so that physicians and their staff know that the information is important and to the point. You should check multiple sources, to know things like whether a physician is enrolled in the PECOS system (can bill Medicare), or has been barred from billing. CarePrecise combines all of these sources in a single tool.
Relationships CountTo make sure that invoices get through to their intended recipients, establishing connections with physicians and their team members is crucial. CarePrecise Platinum can help by keeping tabs on the lists used for various communications, maintaining an opt-out list for practices which require special care, and creating separate marketing lists depending on geographical area. You'll be able to match suitable representatives with each target without relying on any external CRM software – all thanks to extensive demographic data.
Direct MailAlthough traditional postal mailings still generate considerable leads, there are alternative channels that prove to be much more effective. Direct mail is the tried and true method, while email can save on costs; however, many emails sent to physician offices fail to reach their intended audience. Postal ad campaigns fare slightly worse, but remain an important ingredient in the marketing mix.
Sending bulk text messages may be tantalizingly easy with SMS gateway services, but they usually have an anti-spam policy that requires you to obtain the recipient's consent prior to sending any texts. CarePrecise data sets contain around 1,100,000 phone numbers for physicians, but be aware that while some of these are smartphones and some will be turned into voice mail messages by the recipient's phone carrier, a significant number will hit landlines and office phone system dead ends. Despite any technical glitches, the biggest fear should be your relationships with current physicians. Diligent list preparation is required to eliminate anyone you already connect with via more user-friendly mediums. Nonetheless, we are aware of some companies that are currently testing bulk SMS to doctors, both opt-in and cold call. It's believed that this channel will experience explosive growth over the coming years; however, it remains uncertain whether its advantages surpass the risks associated with such invasive techniques.
Email campaignsIt feels kind of thrilling to push the "Send Campaigns" button on a few tens of thousands of email messages. When I do it I even sort of push down hard on the mouse or screen so I can get all the tingly feels.
Constant Contact reports that email marketing has a return on investment of $42 for every $1 spent. There are some gotchas, of course, but email is the winner in overall ROI, while remaining perfectly legal to send unsolicited. The ideal email list is one that was collected by the practitioners' medical society, journals, conferences, and the like. Screen-scraped email addresses just, well, suck.
The problem with cheap, uncurated email lists is that even just one low-quality, high-rejection campaign can wreck your web domain, blacklist it, and send your company's regular business email messages into the junk box. Getting off of the blacklists is an expensive and slow process. A huge waste of money.
We are extremely cautious with our careprecise.com domain and would never be so sloppy. Rest assured that we carry that same care into our CarePrecise Preferred Email data stock. Our buyers develop trusting relationships with the societies, event producers, and medical journal publishers. Dirty email lists would damage that trust on all sides. Good email addresses, particularly physician emails, are expensive to acquire and maintain, especially when we try to get only the ones that the addressee has given permission to share. CarePrecise has developed a unique system for email hygiene that combines this impeccable sourcing with constant re-verification and campaign analysis. This analysis step examines the campaign reports of some of our larger customers to know, for instance, which of the three or seven email addresses we have for one physician should be the most effective.
Tips on sending email to physicians and other healthcare providers would fill pages, so instead, here's a link to our email sending best practices.
Just the good data, pleaseUltimately, if you are determined to get in touch with physicians and their personnel, it's essential that you understand the protocols. Obtaining accurate data from a trustworthy source will give you the ability to communicate professionally and efficiently. With careful planning and employing innovative strategies utilizing this data, your organization can cultivate relationships of lasting trust. The ways that you use the data will make the biggest difference of all, and will be a significant driver of your competitive edge.
With CarePrecise, you can rest assured that reliable and comprehensive data will always be accessible – right there on your computer drive – so you can concentrate on what really matters: crafting compelling marketing campaigns with precision targeting to successfully reach your target audiences.
*Well, mostly the whole universe. A few packages that are designed for very specific applications, such as ScriptFax and ScribeFax, are not part of The Collection.
– Michael Christopher, Chief Analyst
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