Tips For Measuring HIPAA-Compliant Medical Marketing ROI

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Ty Allen is the CEO of SocialClimb, a company that offers automated patient acquisition software & predictive analytics data for healthcare.

Demonstrating ROI (return on investment) is crucial for medical marketers to show their value to stakeholders, and digital marketing has led today’s decision-makers to expect immediate data to help them stay competitive. Meanwhile, it’s often challenging to show which part of any marketing campaign directly increases a business’s bottom line. And in healthcare, HIPAA privacy barriers create an additional challenge to utilizing digital marketing.

Even with these challenges, measuring ROI from medical marketing is possible. In my time working with predictive analytics data for healthcare, I have found certain tips that can guide you in measuring the financial impact of your medical marketing using HIPAA-compliant tracking tools.

Don’t substitute other measurements for ROI.

Money talks to stakeholders, and ROI is about profit earned directly through money spent.

However, facing the challenges in linking medical marketing spend directly to actual profit, marketers often default to reporting other metrics. All too often, marketers start referring to these other metrics as return on investment. For example, they might report how many calls or appointments they receive in a month. These metrics are interesting and useful in context, but they are key performance indicators (KPIs), not profit. Don’t confuse KPIs with ROI.

In discussions intended to be about profit, KPIs become even more distracting because it can be hard to show a direct connection between KPIs and a particular marketing effort. The KPIs may occur, and they may correlate in some ways, but it can be challenging to show a direct causation.

Stakeholders want to see how many treatment-seeking, paying patients are actually acquired directly through a particular marketing campaign. When medical marketers know this data point along with their average patient revenue, they can calculate their ROI.

Use a HIPAA-compliant measurement system to show real consumer behavior.

In the past, HIPAA privacy requirements have made it hard to connect a consumer’s behavior to their care within a medical practice. However, HIPAA-integrated marketing software makes it possible for marketers to collect the real data they need for reporting purposes, while the patient data remains appropriately protected inside the health provider’s system.

HIPAA may seem like a wall that constrains data analysis, but software platforms that integrate with a medical practice’s patient management (PM) system make it possible to work within HIPAA regulations. These platforms handle patient data and privacy according to appropriate guidelines. Make sure to vet any potential system. 

Within this type of system, a patient’s action can be noted while protecting privacy, and their name can safely be attached to it. In this way, medical consumer behavior can be directly linked to medical client spending.

Use a smart digital tracking mechanism, even with traditional non-digital marketing.

Smart marketers choose from the whole range of traditional and digital marketing tools to meet a health provider’s goals. To know which communication strategies really make a difference, they need objective, detailed data to differentiate between the results they get from each communication outreach.

Marketers can generate and attach a unique tracking number to every part of a campaign, for any communication method used, while also maintaining HIPAA compliance. When a person calls or links to the provider through that number, the person’s name and contact information are then connected to that campaign on the HIPAA-compliant side of things.

Through this process, marketers can easily obtain the objective and detailed data they need to truly understand the value of their marketing tactics. They can see the patient acquisition numbers from each campaign and plug in the average patient value to determine their ROI.

Marketers should then apply this objective data and adjust their campaigns to be more effective. They can also use this data in their reports to decision-makers, showing not only the ROI of their marketing spend but also the marketer’s skill in applying marketing funds in the best ways possible.

Today’s healthcare market is highly competitive. Marketers need to choose strategies that work — especially those that put a provider’s name in front of consumers as they are making their decisions.

With the right tools and strategies in place, marketers can easily move across the perceived HIPAA barrier to collect data while meeting privacy requirements. This will allow them to follow every marketing effort to generate detailed, objective data and show how they add value to a provider’s bottom line.


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https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/12/16/tips-for-measuring-hipaa-compliant-medical-marketing-roi/

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