3 Ideas for Boosting GI Case Volume Through Marketing

Here are three ideas to increase case volume in your GI-driven ASC through marketing to members of the physician and local community.

1. Talk to primary care physicians in the community.
Most ASCs rely on their physicians to bring cases to the center, but primary care physicians in your community may also be a valuable source of referrals. GI centers should talk to primary care physicians about the importance of colon cancer screenings and your center's availability. If primary care physicians are aware that your center performs screenings, they may recommend colon cancer screenings to their patients and then send them your way.

"We do a lot of work in just educating the [physician] community, talking to primary care physicians, ob/gyns and other specialists about colon cancer," says Nancy Nikolovski of Physicians Endoscopy Center in Houston, Texas. "They're still the gatekeepers, and they really do direct patients' care, so they are instrumental in making sure patients get screened."

2. Add a procedure that other ASCs don't offer. Philip Grossman, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FASGE, CEO and medical director of Kendall Endoscopy and Surgery Center in Miami, says his ASC has experienced the best results from direct-to-consumer marketing when the facility adds a procedure or service that is not available elsewhere. "For example, a new medical device comes out and it's in clinical trials, and it saves somebody from a big operation to fix a problem, and the physician who's running it is in your facility," he says. "You might put out an ad that says, 'Do you suffer from heartburn? Are you tired of taking pills every day? Come to the XYZ ASC and get your heartburn solved without medication or surgery."

He says the new procedure has to target a large enough segment of the population that the cost of the marketing is offset by your increased revenue. He says for the most part, marketing on the quality of your service is not as effective because most patients are brought to the ASC without their input.

3. Send out reminder cards. Direct-to-consumer marketing doesn't always have a significant impact on ASC case volume, but GI-driven ASC administrators say they've seen a substantial rise in volume by sending out colonoscopy reminder cards.

"We have a budget for direct-to-consumer marketing for colon cancer screening, and we send out end-of-year 'use it or lose it' postcards," Ms. Nikolovski says. "We remind [people in the community] that colon cancer is preventable if caught early."

Read more tips on operating a GI-driven ASC:

-5 Ways to Save Money on Supplies in a GI-Driven ASC

-3 Ways to Increase Savings for Surgery Center Supplies

-6 Things GI/Endoscopy-Driven ASCs Should Benchmark

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