Neurosurgery/Spine Marketing

Client Success Stories

Following is a sampling of some of our many neurosurgery/spine clients for which we have developed and executed highly successful marketing and sales campaigns.

Large Private Group with 20+ Neurosurgeons (Brain and Spine) Seeking to Capture More Physician Referrals in Competitive Market

Background: Well-established brain and spine practice losing referrals to other private groups as well as several hospital-owned groups and wanted to strengthen their referral base for increased case volume.

Challenge: This neurosurgery group’s geographic area was home to several other neurosurgery groups with aggressive marketing programs in place.

Strategy: With heavy competition in the area we identified the strengths and weaknesses of each practice to developing a positioning strategy and see where our client could shine in the marketplace. We implemented our DoctorIntel SM proprietary marketing research survey and identified from the referral community what was important to them when referring patients out for neurosurgery consults. The results showed that referral loyalty to neurosurgeons was often based on personal relationships with the neurosurgeon as well as hospital affiliation, experience and credentials. Our strategy was to focus the marketing campaign based on several angles: 1) Our client was credentialed at multiple hospitals, 2) Highlighting the experience and individual expertise of the different neurosurgeons, and 3) Make the neurosurgeons accessible to referrers for consults, meetings or presentations. We created a full marketing package, with brochure, business cards, referral pad and Physician CV which showed a photo of each doc, their professional background and area of expertise along with email and direct phone extension. We implemented a strong direct mail campaign to disseminate this information, a telesales referral generation program which introduced the team, and in-person sales visits to augment the awareness of our client’s services. Postcards with headshots of each neurosurgeon and their background were also sent out as part of the campaign.

Results: After one year of the campaign (which was subsequently renewed twice and is now in its third year) we were able to generate 75 new physician referrers who sent over 100 patients for consults/surgeries to our neurosurgical group client. The client saw a direct increase in communication and referrals from both new and existing referrers and felt that having us establish this personal rapport on their behalf was key to the increase.

Neurosurgery Group (Spine and Brain) Losing Referrals to Established Orthopedic Spine Practice with Multiple Locations

Background: This neurosurgery group had an established spine and brain practice and was well-known in the geographic area. Referrals had been relatively stable until a multi-location orthopedic group in the greater geography opened a new office in a nearby medical complex.

Challenge: The new orthopedic group that came into our neurosurgery group’s catchment area implemented a strong marketing program announcing their new location that disrupted the steady flow of spine referrals to our client.

Strategy: While our neurosurgery group client had always marketed both their spine and brain practices to some degree, we developed a strategic marketing campaign to focus heavily on the spine side of the practice to respond to a drop in referrals from area physicians since the new orthopedic group opened. Our client was already established in this area so we created a campaign that focused on how client has always been a part of the community, touting relationships they have built, releasing outcomes and reminding physicians and patients of the focus on quality patient care. We knew from mystery shopping the competition that the new competing orthospine practice was basically utilizing generic mass media advertising and we learned that they were not strongly targeting the referring community through either sales visits, direct mail or telesales. We created a comprehensive database of all referrers and potential referrers in the area and, using our consultative telesales physician referral lead generation program with an overlay of dynamic direct mail, began calling physician offices with our unique methodology on behalf of our client. We started calling VIP and highest volume referrers first, thanking them for their referrals and loyalty to our neurosurgery client, cementing the relationship. This effort was received with great enthusiasm and appreciation. For referrers whose volume had previously dropped off, we called and re-introduced our practice client as part of the community, and sent fulfillment packages encouraging referrals. Similarly, for those physician offices that had never previously referred to our client, we called them, reminded them of the direct mail we had been sending them, educated them on the client's neurosurgery services and what made them unique in the marketplace, then sent them fulfillment packages and followed up with them by phone a week later to cement a new referral relationship. The overall goal of the campaign was to strengthen existing relationships and establish new ones in order to maintain marketshare of spine referrals. During the campaign we also took the opportunity to market brain services as a secondary message.

Results: After six months of spine-focused telesales and fulfillment along with dynamic direct mail, we were able to see a 13% increase in referrals from VIP referrers, a 29% increase from former referrers and a total of 66 cases from formerly non-referrers. We also saw a positive increase in brain case referrals.

Single Orthopedic Spine Surgeon Looking to Expand and Grow Practice by Marketing PMR and PT Services

Background: Single orthopedic spine surgeon brought in a physiatrist and physical therapist to generate additional revenue to the practice and retain patients post-surgery for both pain and rehab services.

Challenge: The orthospine practice is located in a market dense with neurosurgery and orthospine providers, along with multiple pain and physical therapy practices.

Strategy: This orthopedic spine surgeon had a quality reputation but was encountering heavy competition from aggressive provider groups in the community. Our strategy was to heavily market the new pain and PT services to make this practice stand out via ancillary services. After examining the competition, we learned that hours, quick appointment times and one-on-one service were the best selling points for this orthopedic practice when it came to marketing pain and PT services. While some traditional PT offices in the area treated multiple patients in one room with rotating providers, we positioned PT here as part of the orthospine practice based on a “concierge” one-on-one approach, almost like a personal trainer. For the new pain practice here we wanted to reach patients before they were considering surgery as an option and then also offer a seamless post-op evaluation after surgery. We created a series of direct mail pieces, implemented a personalized fax campaign and utilized our consultative telesales referral generation program to contact all referrers in the area. Depending on their specialty, we tailored our sales pitch to include pain or also PT if they were able to write an Rx for those services. We emphasized the convenience of utilizing all these services in one location and cross-marketed services to patients as they came in for any of the services.

Results: We were pleased to see that almost immediately, current referrers for spine surgery responded to our marketing campaign and began to send their pain patients to our client’s PMR and also for PT services. Building on the good relationships already existing, referrers felt comfortable referring PMR and PT services to our orthospine surgeon’s practice. The marketing campaign also opened a groundswell of referrals from new referrers, not only for pain and PT, but also for orthopedic spine. Continuous marketing of both in-house ortho and pain services, along with PT, generated a revenue increase of 45% for the practice after two years.

Small Private Neurosurgery Group (Spine Only) Needed Help Competing with Hospital-Owned Neurosurgery Practices

Background: Neurosurgery group with two spine-only neurosurgeons faced strong competition from several hospital-owned neurosurgery groups

Challenge: The competing hospital owned groups are getting most of the referrals from the hospital network referrers who are being asked to limit leakage outside the hospital network.

Strategy: We started by identifying every possible non-hospital owned physician practice in the marketplace who could potentially refer and considered them our VIP list. Through our DoctorIntelSM market research survey we identified who they were along with a full profile of their practice volume and referrer demographics. We developed a full campaign to market to them, touting the benefits of our neurosurgery group which offered choices in which ASC or hospital a patient preferred for surgery. We also felt that as a small group their customer service was excellent and included a patient testimonial campaign as part of the marketing. We implemented a full direct mail and consultative referral generation telesales campaign to keep these non-hospital physicians referring, telling them how much our client appreciated the referrals. For those hospital-owned practices, we learned through the survey that many of them were unhappy with the neurosurgeons in their network, for personal or other reasons, and they still referred out of their network at their discretion. We implemented a separate hospital-owned referrer marketing campaign to these physicians to strengthen the relationship between them and our neurosurgery client to solidify and nurture these relationships.

Results: After several months we were able to see a steady uptick of referrals from the non-hospital network practices. Referrals from these referrers, including previous referrers as well as those who had never previously referred, increased 37% vs the prior year. For those who indicated they were hospital network-owned, we measured an uptick of 8%.

Copyright © 2024 Sharon Jarchin Health Care Marketing / The Jarchin Group, Inc.