What’s a good HIPAA compliant email marketing service to use?

what's a good hipaa compliant email servcice to use?

 

Selecting an email service can be one giant headache that keeps many healthcare providers from venturing into email marketing.

A question that usually comes up is:

“What’s a good HIPAA compliant email marketing service to use?”

There are hundreds of email service providers (ESP) to choose from and not one that’s perfect for every situation.

Some email services are designed specifically for healthcare, there are applications for business use that can be modified to be HIPAA capable and there are ones not HIPAA compliant that should never be used.

Listed below are several free email services that are NOT HIPAA compliant:

  • Gmail- Probably the most commonly used email program in the world is not HIPAA compliant. Google’s G Suite can be set up to be HIPAA capable. 
  • Microsoft Outlook- Microsoft’s free email and calendar tools are not HIPAA compliant. The business version in Office 365 can be made HIPAA capable.
  • Yahoo Mail- Known for its ability to integrate email, social networking and instant messaging is not compliant.
  • Apple Mail- Users of Apple devices are probably familiar with Apple’s email program. It is another free email program not suitable for healthcare communications.

Before we jump into my suggestions on selecting an email marketing service, I need to clearly state a disclaimer.

I’m not a HIPAA expert. I am not a lawyer nor do I have any HIPAA certifications. I recommend that you discuss any decision you make that includes protected health information (PHI) with an attorney that specializes in HIPPA compliance or is a certified compliance expert like Rick Gawenda from Gawenda Seminars. 

In previous articles, I covered the best practices for getting started with email marketing and the do’s and don’ts of email marketing in a therapy practice. Read those articles to get an understanding the important issues to address with email marketing as a healthcare business. I put together a quick start guide for selecting a HIPAA compliant email marketing service that narrows down your choices.   Get your HOW-TO Guide on Choosing an HIPAA Email Service

5 Best Practices for Getting Started with Email Marketing

Email Marketing Best Practices

 

Are you finding it harder to get patients from traditional referral sources?

All the strategies to hold down healthcare costs are beginning to take a toll on private practice owners. Overhead expenses continue to rise, and profit margins shrink. Both take a significant bite out of therapists salaries.

Raising your fees really doesn’t do any good because no one expects United Healthcare to raise reimbursement rates anytime soon. They haven’t for the last 20 years so why should they now.  (Don’t get me started on that). 

Direct access doesn’t happen overnight. Less reliance on physician referrals hasn’t been a smooth transition for most clinics. 

A new set of marketing and technological skills are needed. 

Practice owners are looking for cost-effective ways to attract and retain patients that are a good fit for their practices.

You’ve probably heard the latest buzz about how easy and inexpensive it is to advertise with ads on Facebook and Google. Before you jump on the bandwagon and spend your hard earned cash on advertising you really don’t understand, consider this.

Nearly half of the world’s population is predicted to be using email by 2020. 

That means most of your patients will be using email as a primary method of communication to an ever-widening circle of people including their healthcare providers.  

Patients have demanded more transparency, value, and personalization from their healthcare providers, progressive owners have adapted.

New technology and best practices for email marketing help therapists to revamp their growth strategies in this new landscape.

As a result, email marketing has become a vital part of a growing therapy practice. Any therapist who is not using email is missing a prime opportunity to improve patient care and have a bottom-line impact.

Any therapist not using email is missing a prime opportunity to improve patient care and have a bottom-line impact.Click To Tweet

However, there’s more to email marketing than meets the eye.

Patient Retention: Hidden Revenue in Your Therapy Practice

PATIENT RETENTION

 

In recent conversations with practice owners, I sensed more anxiety on how to keep their businesses profitable.

Downward pressure on healthcare costs (including therapists’ incomes) has owners looking for ways to generate more revenues to offset rising overhead expenses.(therapists pay for health insurance too)

Some therapists are cranking up the “referral machine” to treat more patients per hour through assistants and techs. Numerous practices are becoming high volume dependent to make ends meet.

A hurried pace with an overbooked schedule can lead to staff burnout, patient dissatisfaction, and missing potential income right under our noses. Let me ask you an honest question.

What would you say will be the most significant driver of your practice’s growth over the next 1-3 years?

If you answered more referrals, you’re probably mistaken.

Most likely, it’s probably retaining patients you already have for a lifetime, according to a KPMG survey.

This article takes a look at this hidden source of income and how to make it yours.

I’ll help you understand how to improve your patient retention and identify actions that might result in producing more revenue.

Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant for Therapy Practices?

Gmail HIPAA Compliant

 

When therapy practices venture into the realm of email marketing, probably the number one question asked is:

Is Gmail HIPAA compliant?

Free personal email services like Gmail, Outlook, or Apple Mail were created to help people conveniently communicate with one another. Ease of use and readable text are higher priorities than security.

Because they are so easy to use there it’s tempting to use apps that you’re familiar with in your business to email prospects and patients. 

Unfortunately, email services like Gmail are not designed for healthcare practices working under HIPAA regulations. Any emails through these services are vulnerable to privacy issues and if you’re not careful a HIPAA violation.

Gmail by default is for personal use and not business use. But there may be a workaround that might allow you to use Google products to send marketing emails that are HIPAA compliant. 

Do’s & Don’ts of Email Marketing In a Therapy Practice

do's and dont's of email marketing in a therapy practice.

 

In one sense, you’ve probably already been using email to develop your therapy practice. Before you had a website or a Facebook account you used email to communicate with colleagues and reach out to prospects.

It’s been nearly 50 years since Ray Tomlinson, the man credited with inventing email sent the first message. After I received an American Online free trial CD in the mail in 1996, I set up my first AOL account and heard my first “You’ve Got Mail” greeting.

Like most of you, I’ve become dependent on email as my primary mode of communication in my personal life and business. 

Typically, the usefulness of a tech tool fades over time but not so with email. To this day email remains the preferred way to communicate with friends, family, and business associates all over the globe.

A recent study by Adestra reports that 73 percent of Millennials prefer businesses communicate with them via email. Also, nearly half of respondents used email to make purchases online.

Email is a fantastic way to communicate with our patients. A growing number of our patients prefer to hear from their therapists by way of email.

A growing number of patients prefer to hear from their therapists by way of email. It's a fantastic way to connect.Click To Tweet

Lifecycle Marketing – How to Grow your Practice and Feel Good about It

Lifecycle Markeing

 

There are a lot of people who want your money

There are a lot of marketers on the Internet who want to take your money. They promise you how to effortlessly get a steady stream of patients–in exchange for your hard earned cash. Their pitch goes something like this…

 

How Bob Got 22 New Patients In One Hour

By Doing Just “One Thing” Really Well

 

It sounds too good to be true (probably is) but the headline still grabs you. You’re vulnerable, you’ve tried marketing but have nagging doubts you’re doing it right. You’re passionate and good at what you do but this marketing thing is frustrating.

You say to yourself, “It can’t be that hard, I’m intelligent, after all, I made it through graduate school, didn’t I?” Somehow if people knew you and understood how you could help them, your schedule would be packed.

None-the-less, new referrals trickle in and you still have open slots in your schedule. Growing your practice sure seems a lot harder than it should be and it takes forever to see any results.

In a weak moment, when patient visits are down you buy the guru’s book or sign up for a training program. You might even fly to a conference in another city. You jump head first into the hottest marketing program, put in the work and see some initial progress.

But then you hit the wall.

You find things not adding up like you had hoped. The marketing tactics don’t feel right. They feel way too pushy and unprofessional. They take too much time away from patient care and your personal life. Trust me I’ve been down that road a couple of times.

Those of us who have lived most of our careers in the healthcare ecosystem have a limited perspective on attracting people who need our services. We have lived so long under the physician referral system it’s hard to see getting patients any other way.

What we need is a fresh perspective on attracting and keeping new patients. Let’s take a new look on how to attract, connect and delight new patients through a process called lifecycle marketing.

Make Your Practice Something Worth Talking About

Something Worth Talking About

 

If you’re anything like I was when I first started my practice, then you probably believe marketing is using an arsenal of tactics to help bring in patients.

You might have also spent a lot of time reading books, listening to podcasts and going to conferences trying to find an approach that works.

You want a way to market that doesn’t make you feel sleazy, pushy or unprofessional. You don’t one to be “one of those guys”.

 

one of those guys

 

Now it’s time to throw 90% of that information away.

3 STEPS TO A REMARKABLE THERAPY BRAND

The Best Way To Stand Out In A Crowd

 stand-out-600x600

 

 

How Are You Going To Stand Out?

 

Healthcare in the U.S. is going berzerk right now. Fierce competition has created a situation where therapists need to be recognized as the best–period. There will always be “therapy jobs” but there is less room for average performers to find a promising career path.

With therapy schools are pumping out more graduates year after year, how are you to find and keep a primo therapy job?

Building a remarkable therapy brand is the best way to advance and protect your career. Click To Tweet

I believe the most important skill for therapists to develop will not be clinical, it will not be technological, it’s not economical/business acumen. It will be the ability to manage their own careers.

There has been an unprecedented change in the physical therapy profession. For the first time, a substantial and increasing number of therapists can choose what they want to do with their careers. 

Therapists have an almost unlimited number of options of what they want to do with their lives. In addition, the average work life span is now close to sixty years and most therapists will have more than one career during that time. 

For many of you, choosing a job will not be solely based upon salary and benefits. You might want a job where you can contribute to the good of not just society but the world.

The good news it’s now up to therapists to choose employment that is meaningful to them.

The bad news is it’s now up to therapists to choose employment that is meaningful to them.

Many therapists are unprepared for the responsibility and uncertainty that self-determination brings.

Email Marketing Strategies To Get More Referrals

Ten Expert Therapists Share What Works

Email marketing from 10 experts

KNOW WHAT’S HARD ABOUT GETTING REFERRALS? 

Staying connected with loyal patients when you’re so busy taking care of the patient right in front of you!

Most therapists have helped thousands of people and have written meticulous notes in clinical records. But therapists typically do a poor job of staying connected with satisfied clients and managing our networks.

Future referrals and incomes are lost because we don’t maintain strong connections with our most precious resource–our loyal clients.

It’s not like we’re just plain stupid but we’ve never really had to really worry that much about it before. Physicians and networks normally fed us all the referrals we ever needed, sometimes too many. Well times have changed and now therapists must compete like crazy for good quality referrals.

And the truth is most therapists don’t know how!

THESE EXPERTS  WILL HELP YOU SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. 

I’ve collected the advice of 10 expert therapists on the email strategies they use to build strong connections with their patients and referral sources. Most therapists already have fantastic relationships with our patients. We just need a few tips and tools to turn them into word of mouth referrals.

Write Great Emails That Get Referrals

How To Increase Word of Mouth Referrals Through Great Emails

How To Write Great Emails That Get Referrals

Wouldn’t you love your satisfied patients to send referrals to you?

Of course you would. Common sense tells you that it’s good for business.

The power of physician referrals and expensive traditional marketing campaigns is on the wane; word of mouth referrals are what drive most practices today.

People naturally trust the recommendation of a family member or friend over anything sent to them by a faceless clinic. People especially trust someone with whom they’ve had a positive experience.

Science has shown that people are hard-wired to recommend services and products to their friends. It’s a instinct that drives any successful word of mouth referral system.

Maintaining positive patient relationships is the new referral sourceClick To Tweet

I want to open your eyes to a new way of getting referrals:

Send great emails to your current and former patients to nurture positive relationships and referrals.

As you maintain a strong connection with your highly satisfied patients they will be more likely to use your services again and make referrals when prompted.

Specifically, I want you to develop an automated email marketing system to increase trust and income for your business.