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"You have turned my life around"
 

I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

-Sidney Daigle


I want to thank you for your due diligence. You saved my life. I highly recommend you!

-Dwight Bastian


Thank you Dr. Baum! Because of you I'm back in the "rodeo"!

-Gerald Wallace

 


Reprinted with permission from Dialogue Medical, 1-800-482-7963.

I have recently written about the increasingly important role that the Internet is playing in the physician's practice. I doubt there's a urologist who doesn't have patients coming in for a consultation carrying downloaded material pulled off of the Internet asking you to interpret their surfing activities. Today, about 42 percent of physicians work in practices that have a Web site1. Patients who connect with their physicians through the Internet comment on the ability to feel more connected to the practice and more in control of their health care, and say they are impressed with the "state of the art" technology that the practice offers. I doubt there's a urologist who doesn't have patients coming in for a consultation carrying downloaded material pulled off of the Internet asking you to interpret their surfing activities.

Besides using Web-based technology to help manage your practice more cost-effectively and efficiently, this technology can also help physicians connect with new patients. Despite the "dot. bomb" downturn, public trust in healthcare information on the Internet remains high, according to a recent Harris Interactive Internet survey. In fact, some 100 million adults seek online medical information every month2.

Many Internet-savvy consumers are seeking information on specific procedures such as vasectomy and vasectomy reversal. Indeed, there are some 500,000 vasectomies performed in the United States annually and an estimated 50,000 reversals. The number of reversals being performed is growing due to advancements in microsurgical techniques and number of physicians performing them. The number of vasectomies is probably going to increase, as this is a cost-effective method of contraception and can be done easily in the office using the no-scalpel technique.

How can you connect with this growing, high-quality patient base that basically knows what it wants, is decision-ready, offers excellent potential for patient retention and is usually ready to pay for their procedures, (since these procedures may not be covered by their insurance plans.

General physician database listings may generate more exposure for a physician's practice. However, these listings are not procedure specific. As a result, patients must jump or surf from other information resources to databases to find what they are seeking. In addition, physicians who are contacted through general physician database listings have no way of knowing whether the patient is financially qualified for elective-service procedures such as vasectomy reversal.

There are sites on the Internet that can help connect patients with procedure-specific information. This procedure-specific marketing is common in plastic surgery and dermatology, or any specialty offering cosmetic procedures such as face-lifts, rhinoplasties, hair transplants, and tattoo removals. Examples of procedure specific marketing include: http://www.ienhance.com/, which provides consumer information about elective procedures in plastic surgery, dermatology, ENT-facial surgery, cosmetic dentistry and vision, http://www.spine-health.com/, which provides back and neck pain information, with health care provider resources including orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists, and http://www.vasectomyreversalspecialists.com, which provides general information about reversals with a searchable directory of urologists who perform reversals.

In urology, one site that does provide comprehensive information on vasectomy and vasectomy reversal, along with a physician database and options for third party financing, is www.vasectomy.com.

Established in 1999, vasectomy.com is an alliance of physicians that differs in many respects from many other medical sites. I have used this site to provide potential new patients with a resource that supplements the information that I would give them prior to their first office visit. This Web site was originally established to provide basic consumer information. Now the site is the only online resource from the doctors performing these procedures, which offers all of the following at one Internet location:

  • Authoritative Information: Nearly 100 information-rich pages, including feature and secondary articles based on the most common questions and issues expressed by patients and site visitors.
  • Physician Database: Free access to physician practices that professionally showcase the physician and practice in a highly credible editorial environment.
  • Third-Party Financing: Access to patient financing with free, online application and pre-qualification for a third-party loan that enables patients to undergo elective surgical procedures using a line of credit.

One of the advantages of Vasectomy.com is the provision for patients to obtain financing for elective procedures, particularly vas reversals that are usually not covered by insurance companies. Vasectomy.com can connect patients to the online finance company's Website and the patient can register and be qualified online within one hour. With one of the finance companies, the doctor submits the bill for hisher services on the day of the procedure and heshe will receive reimbursement within 48 hours after the bill is submitted. The doctor is compensated for 95% of the usual and customary fee. If the doctor does not accept the 95% of the fee, the patient can pay the 5% prior to surgery as a co-payment and then make the monthly installments to the finance company. The annual interest rate for the patient is 15-20%.

Participating in vasectomy.com

Referrals for reimbursed procedures have long been the foundation upon which physicians have built their practices and generated the bulk of their income. In today's managed care environment, however, elective procedures are becoming a critical component of growth and revenue generation. The key to accessing this opportunity is to reach financially qualified patients.

Many urologists, however, continue to rely on vehicles such as Yellow Pages advertising, which are helpful but do not offer any depth of information on you or your practice, your procedures or financing information.

Vasectomy.com can provide an easy, efficient, cost-effective way to increase visibility in a widely viewed consumer medium that reaches a large, pre-qualified audience. Vasectomy.com offers four different membership programs, and as I evaluate them, it is clear that membership can quickly pay for itself in terms of increased patient revenue.

Annual membership fees range from $600 for a basic interactive plan (including a directory listing with a link to the physician's Web page), to a Premier Highlight Package for $3,600.

In summary, using interactive technology is not only a means of making us more available to patients--it is a professional, credible way to bring more patients to us in an increasingly fast-paced, competitive environment.


1 Harris Interactive Poll, March 2, 1001, NUA
2 Harris Interactive Poll, April 25, 2001, NUA