When compared to most other industries, the path to conversion in the healthcare field is a long and winding road. Appointments for care or treatment first require consultations between patients, specialists, and medical practitioners, so most providers forego online registration systems in favor of an ever-reliable metric: Phone calls.
Prospective patients still largely prefer to schedule appointments over the phone, which means that having an effective call tracking system is mission-critical for any marketer who works with healthcare providers. However, U.S.-based healthcare marketers also have to consider the privacy and legal implications of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
HIPAA requires that healthcare providers (and any professionals who work with those providers) adhere to certain privacy and security standards in order to protect the sensitive personal information of the patients they serve. For ndp agency, CallRail’s program for HIPAA-compliant accounts made it an ideal call tracking solution.
“HIPAA compliance is absolutely essential for us, we couldn’t offer our services without having a platform that meets HIPAA’s requirements, ” says James Colvin, marketing analytics lead at ndp agency. Based out of Richmond, Virginia, ndp is a full-service marketing agency that specializes in hospital advertising.
“It’s always top of mind for us to make sure we’re being respectful of people’s health data, while also not putting ourselves or our clients in any sort of HIPAA liability by using call tracking,” Colvin explains. “The fact that CallRail has built-in options and features for HIPAA compliance makes it an ideal solution. Plus, we’re still able to use the built-in integrations for Google AdWords and Analytics while maintaining that HIPAA-compliance; that’s the icing on the cake for us.”
In healthcare marketing, calls still matter most
In their day-to-day, ndp mainly uses call tracking to properly attribute calls to the corresponding ad campaign that drove them, as well as how many calls are driven by their digital ad placements: “CallRail provides all of this data in a way that’s simple, clean, and easy to read, which is incredibly helpful in the healthcare field,” Colvin says.
“Our clients are almost always not coming to this as marketers first and foremost, they’re healthcare providers,” he adds. “So it’s helpful for them to be able to see all of this data in a way that’s easy to digest, and that also clearly illustrates the work we do on their behalf.”
For healthcare marketers, attribution isn’t as simple as tracing a given appointment to a PPC placement or ad buy. Instead, almost all conversions in healthcare take place offline: The patient has to schedule an appointment, then go to a facility for care, and then have their payment or insurance processed.
And since nearly every conversion is the result of a patient first calling ahead to schedule an appointment, there’s tremendous value in seeing how many calls result in new patients for a given practice. In healthcare marketing, calls aren’t an abstraction — they directly correlate to the bottom line, and are one of the clearest possible indicators of how providers (and their marketing) are performing.
Surmounting the HIPAA hurdle
But healthcare marketers have to take special consideration about how HIPAA law impacts the kind of information that can and cannot be used in marketing. Providers and marketers who expose certain types of sensitive data and personal information can be slapped with hefty fines, and even face legal liabilities.
These requirements can be tough for marketers to navigate on their own, so ndp agency was happy to learn that CallRail offers end-to-end and fully HIPAA-compliant call tracking for users in the healthcare industry. CallRail’s HIPAA accounts feature specialized encryption in order to safeguard sensitive patient data, and are backed by the Business Associate Agreement CallRail signs with each and every HIPAA client.
“HIPAA compliance is absolutely essential for us, we couldn’t offer our services without having a platform that meets HIPAA’s requirements,” Colvin says. “As a business, it brings a great deal of peace of mind to know that CallRail has our back with this.”
Even better, CallRail HIPAA accounts are fully compatible with a wide range of integrations while still maintaining compliance. In ndp agency’s case, this lets them use the CallRail API to pull out relevant data for use in Google AdWords and Analytics, or for client reports, without any danger of exposing HIPAA-protected information.
“That’s just an amazing feature for us, being able to quickly and easily pull out only the relevant marketing analytics data, without having to view or touch any identifying details or Protected Healthcare Information like their name or address,” Colvin says. “For us, that’s the best of both worlds!”