Posts tagged groupon
If you’re one of the many doctors and practices that have been approached by daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, you may be wondering if there are any real benefits of marketing your practice in this way. We talked about whether Groupon was an unethical way to acquire patients for your practice earlier this year, and highlighted the fact that you are putting your practice’s brand reputation on the line by participating in this type of marketing. The American Medical Association believes that deal sites can harm your business if you are not prepared for the influx of new patients.
Take Our Poll:
We wanted to know what doctors around the country thought of deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Here are some of their statements: “If a dentist enters into a contract with an organization like Groupon, and the contract calls for a consumer to pay Groupon a fee and then Groupon keeps part of the fee and gives the dentists an amount of money and the name of a patient, this would be a violation of the Board’s rule and the licensee could be subject to disciplinary action by the Board.” ~ Patrick Braatz, Executive Director of the Oregon Board of Dentistry and the Board of Chiropractic Examiners
“So far there’s no provision for a Groupon discount as far as any CPT code so I guess when billing if any of it comes under medical billing in an office, folks will need to get creative and put Groupon right up there with co-pay for this style of business expands further into healthcare.” ~ OC Register Blog
“Groupon requires that you pay them a percentage of the fees collected for a professional medical service, and therefore it is fee splitting. In fact, I have called regulators in my state and have confirmed this.” ~ Forum Member on StudentDoctor.net
“It raises all sorts of ethical dilemmas to have people pre-purchase a therapy session through a third party. In this economy, it can be appealing to think that there are creative shortcuts to building a practice and getting people into our offices. But we have to be very careful in considering the impact of the new marketing and social networking tools.” ~ Dr. K. Holmes, Psycotherapist
Need ideas to promote your practice ethically and effectively? Talk to one of our PracticeDock specialists today! More content you may be interested in:
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What do you think? Are sites like Groupon and Living Social fee splitting?
Groupon has been making waves in the online deals industry and is now moving into the plastic surgery and medical field, rolling out deep discounts on everything from liposuction to veneers. Groupon is a deals website that provides deep discounts on restaurants, shopping, entertainment and even spa treatments at popular destinations around your city. You may be a Groupon user yourself, taking advantage of amazing deals on food, golf and other activities around town.
Have you been contacted by a Groupon representative about advertising your practice on this deal site?
Here are some important implications to consider before your practice joins a site like this:
Groupon is an Unethical Way for a Practice to Conduct Business, Says the BAAPS
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has issued a formal statement that condemns the marketing of medical procedures such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and other popular plastic surgery procedures on online discount websites like Groupon.
Former president of the BAAPS states, “This trivialization and commoditization of medical procedures is appalling. It seems to have come down to the level of loyalty cards, money-off vouchers, and even competition prizes.”
If you advertise your practice on Groupon, you are required to list procedures or services that have been reduced by as much as 50% or more. You are guaranteed business when a certain number of people buy your offer, and you do have some options for setting the terms and conditions of the offer.
But is this really an effective way to generate business for your practice?
Deal Sites and Your Practice Image
You’ve worked hard to establish your practice’s brand and reputation in your community, so in some cases, advertising on deals sites can hurt your image. While this approach may help you bring new patients in, what type of message are you sending to existing patients?
As the BAAPS points out, the trivialization of often-pricey procedures can take away from the actual value of what you are offering. You set your fees and prices based on your experience, skills and the value that you are providing to the patient — not only the cost of performing the procedure.
A recent story in American Medical News also sheds some light on the issue. “If done properly, offering services through an online group discount site could be a way to fill empty slots in the calendar or build word-of-mouth referrals and volume — if it’s OK with you to offer the service for half price?if done incorrectly, offering such a deal actually could harm your business if you’re not equipped to deal with the increase.”
Do you use Groupon or other deal sites to generate business at your practice? Share your story or insights below.
If you’re looking for alternative ways to promote your practice, talk to a PracticeDock specialist about some of today’s most effective practice marketing methods.
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