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Doctors Utilize Social Media to Attract New Patients

Posted By: Carlee Vellinga

Medical Groups are learning that social media is a helpful marketing tool. Many doctors and Health Care providers are beginning to utilize deals and promotions on sites such as Groupon and Foursquare. Doctors are offering discounted medical services for those who check the sites. This article from The Los Angeles Times illustrates the way the medical field is changing as doctors find innovative ways to attract new patients.

HealthKey: Doctors Experimenting with Social Media

Monica Dillon wasn’t happy with her eye care provider, so when she saw an online deal for an exam and glasses for $50, she clicked on it.

The accountant, who lives in Columbia and works in Washington, doesn’t ordinarily get medical care without a recommendation. But the offer was too good to resist — and, as she notes, there would be no surgery or undressing.

“The timing was right so I jumped on it,” she said about her purchase via Groupon, a deal-of-the-day e-mail sent to tens of thousands of people in the Baltimore region and millions nationwide. “I’d be more cautious about laser surgery or hair removal. That would take more research. But this worked out; they found a problem with my prescription.”

Katzen Eye Group, the company behind the deal, is among the growing number of health care providers testing the latest in social media. They’re intrigued by the opportunity to attract new patients who might have no or little insurance for specialty services, and to provide information and services to current patients.

Web pages, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts have become a staple of businesses. The newest trend are dealmakers such as Foursquare (a mobile application allowing participants to “check in” at locations and win small rewards), Scoutmob (e-mails that promise discounts at hot spots in cities such as Washington, though not yet Baltimore) and LivingSocial (a Groupon-like deal site).

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