Why Inactive Patients Are the New Goldrush

How Get Alpha is helping Eye Doctors turn their patient databases into a lucrative way to immediately boost collections

An exciting new development announced this week: Practice Owners are able to get this auto-pilot service at a seriously discounted price thanks to Get Alpha’s recently launched ‘Educators Program.’ Get Alpha is an Education Organization committed to helping Medical Practice Owners increase their profits without marketing, long contracts or new patients.

If you’re in your practice 8-10+ hours a day…may as well see as many paying patients as possible, right?

Doctors of Optometry [ODs] know their basic expenses are constant: rent, staff salaries, equipment payments, marketing, software etc… but why are so many overlooking the goldmine sitting right in their office?

The untapped potential of monetizing inactive patients is staggering ($4300 – $8700+/month), but there’s one major drawback: it’s a nuisance to do in-house.

Typically, staff are so busy with daily practice management responsibilities that they lack the time, know-how and resources to call hundreds of inactive patients, even though it’s commonly accepted that it’s a quick way to boost collections.

As such, ODs nationwide are turning to Get Alpha to do all the work for them, 100 percent remotely.

It’s literally all the benefits of having an employee making calls 8 hours a day minus the management oversight, expense, salary, HR nightmare, benefits, insurance, and desk space.

The misconceptions around this budding industry are the primary reason why ODs are slow to take advantage of this hands-off, collections-boosting service that is averaging 30+ inactive patients showing up into the practice every month for a routine eye exam, plus upsells.

With the average OD in the U.S. charging $165 for a routine eye exam, this amounts to $4,950/month on the low end plus referrals, prescription renewals, new frame purchases and other practice cash-cows.

In fact, industry-leading Optometric Reactivation companies are so confident about the ROI they generate, they are offering month-to-month contracts, no cancellation penalties and even customized, sliding-scale pricing to ensure ODs are profitable within the first 30 days and thereafter.

Many ODs – tired of burning cash with Facebook Ads, SEO, and other marketing programs – are realizing there is an alternative: maximizing the ROI of inactive patients.

Here are the top 10 reasons why:

  • Inactive patients (ODs haven’t seen in 1, 2, 3+ years) are much easier to close than new patients (almost guaranteed collections for every scheduled appointment).
  • A predictable, stable ROI every month: even with a 20 percent capture rate, calling 1000 patient files per month translates to big bucks that are collected right away.
  • The upsell + referral potential is massive. Inactive patients are already familiar and have built trust with their OD and are thus likely to buy new frames, get an updated prescription and bring in their spouse/family.
  • Fastest ROI: why wait months for ads and SEO to be “optimized” and invest many thousands of dollars when it’s statistically proven that hundreds of inactive patients are a phone-call away from coming back in?
  • Long Term Value of Patients is Unlocked. By reintroducing dozens of inactive patients back into the patient management cycle, ODs are maximizing the value of their automated reactivation software (SolutionReach, 4PatientCare etc.).
  • These Reactivation Specialists are updating patient information directly into the Practice Management Software (making other marketing activities more cost-effective and laser-focused).
  • Insurance Verifications Pre-Scheduling translates to seeing a vastly higher percentage of patients with the means to pay for ODs services. Why invest time with tire-kickers when you can close existing patients?
  • Higher office morale: let’s face it… it’s a tedious, grueling job to call 1,000 inactive patients every month. No one wants to do it and so it simply doesn’t happen. But when the practice is busy, everyone is motivated.
  • Proven scripts and experience equal efficiency. Why go through the learning curve of creating and testing scripts when someone else knows exactly what to say to reactivate the maximum number of patients?
  • Grow-As-You-Go plans allow ODs to say how many gaps in their schedules they want filled and pay just enough to hit this benchmark.

Indeed, ODs are turning to practice consultants to identify trends and steer their businesses in the right direction.

One alarming macro-trend is the declining ROI of social media investments. Because let’s face it, does anyone really log onto Facebook to chime in on what’s happening with their local Optometrists’ practice? Does anyone scroll through Instagram excited to see a discount on an eye exam?

This shift toward filling gaps in the schedule with existing, inactive patients and organically growing the patient base from there may seem counterintuitive at first, but it’s being adopted by many of the forward-thinking ODs nationwide.

It may be ‘sexier’ to have a stream of New Patients flocking in the doors, but with all the hype online and little results, ODs are looking elsewhere to get higher collections with much smaller investments. Many are realizing that inactive patients are a proven, predictable way to stabilize their revenues, keep their calendars filled and rebuild their marketing budgets.

The facts speak for themselves: the majority of practice collections come from middle-aged folks and Baby Boomers and this demographic responds best to the human-touch that only comes with a phone call from a kind, compassionate person. Even millennials are taking a liking to the conversational, “we care about you” approach. While they may not always answer on the first outbound attempt, they are delighted by the nice voicemail they receive and generally answer during the second cycle of calls or call back within a day or two.

And this works to the advantage of ODs because the service is sold as a package that includes 3 cycles of calls; in other words, 3 outbound attempts per patient file are included so whether the patient answers on the 1st or 3rd attempt, the pricing remains constant.

The general consensus is that young and old alike are enthused by this return-to-basics approach to patient engagement, especially since calls only last 1-2 minutes on average. Just enough time to show that the OD cares, and not extending the call to the point of annoyance.

In fact, Reactivation Specialists are fine-tuning their service to account for every last detail that ODs want: from providing ‘local-sounding’ live-callers (with accents that match the patient demographic), to “no-remote-access required” calling for the security-conscious OD, to customizing scripts to ensure the message is purely conversational, like a friend calling in to check on patients (as opposed to a telemarketing approach).

Optometry Consultants are taking notice as well, partnering with groups like Get Alpha and making the connection with their OD clients.

In the race to deploy new marketing programs, expand, add new equipment, open another location etc. ODs are realizing that their fastest path to maximum profitability has been sitting right under their noses the entire time.

For more information about Optometric Patient Reactivation services, contact info@GetAlpha.org.

Source: Get Alpha