How to Get More Revenue For An Imaging Center

Working in the healthcare industry in modern times is a constant balancing act. Leading in the healthcare industry now is a balancing act on a tightrope stretched over a pit of lava while juggling the most priceless things in the world: the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people.

Leading an imaging center is a challenging position to be in. There are so many things to juggle, and all of it revolves around money. You always need more of it, but raising prices could very possibly cut your income irreparably.

So we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks for you to help you get more revenue for your imaging center.

If you want to see what other tricks we have up our sleeves, contact us to see what Diagnostics Marketing can do for your imaging center.

MRI Marketing Strategies: The Core Focus

Let’s face it: the MRI is not only the most commonly used imaging device – it’s the poster-machine of medical imaging. Not every imaging center has (or needs) an MRI, but most use this machine as their headliner. With how much the machine costs, maximizing profit with this one machine could make or break your entire practice.

So how do you approach this beast? There are several effective methods and approaches that you can use. To begin, we’ll start with three broad MRI Marketing strategies that draw specific demographics.

1 – The Low Cost Strategy

Nobody needs to know the exact cost of an MRI to know that it’s expensive. Because of this, in many cases, people who could benefit from an MRI will avoid getting one if it isn’t absolutely necessary. Even with imaging centers advertising “low-cost” MRIs, people tend to think about that “low-cost” in relative terms; $1,000 is cheap compared to $2,000, but still unaffordable for most people.

Because of this, if you’re going to try and utilize affordability as a key element of your overall strategy, implement it with transparency in mind. Potential patients will be much more likely to respond favorably if they can get a solid idea of what their costs would be before they even schedule an appointment. This can be implemented through a tool or widget on your website which allows visitors to input their insurance information and a few other details that would affect pricing, giving them a direct quote to show them what their out-of-pocket cost would be. This gives them the chance to place their long-term health ahead of their budgetary needs when they see that their actual cost would be much lower than they feared.

2 – The High Tech Strategy

Potential patients also respond well to evidence that a provider has the best technology or uses the most cutting-edge techniques. It is no secret that our collective scientific knowledge progresses continually. Even without following the specifics, the general population expects for their to be advances in medical care year-over-year. And, especially if they can afford it, patients want the best care they can get.

If they believe that you can provide that, then many will flock to you regardless of cost. This includes patients who are looking for second opinions as well as family members or caregivers who have a sense of responsibility toward the patient.

3 – The Comfort Strategy

MRI scans are known for being uncomfortable, claustrophobic experiences. However, with advances in the technology and design of the machines, this is no longer a necessary element of the process. Some of the newer machines have larger bores or even entirely open formats which can still give accurate results without any of the anxiety associated with the traditional machines.

If you have one of these machines, you should heavily consider placing that fact at the fore of your marketing efforts for your MRI program. This will draw a lot of attention from patients who suffer from claustrophobia, or for whom comfort is a higher priority.

Effective Digital Marketing

No matter which of the above approaches you focus on for marketing your MRI program, you should ensure that you do not neglect the digital format while formulating your overall plan. Most patients seek out answers for their medical inquiries online now. If you utilize a smart web presence, you can easily double or triple the number of patients coming through your doors in a short amount of time.

A smart digital marketing plan can include a number of elements, including:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • A well-designed website
  • Google Places (to include business details and reviews)
  • A reputation management strategy that includes Google, Facebook, and one or two other review sites
  • A blog
  • Automated emails
  • PPC Ads

And that list only scratches the surface. Utilizing the internet as a primary marketing medium is generally cheaper than traditional advertisements and more effective in today’s marketing environment.

Which brings us to…

Marketing Outreach

You cannot neglect the importance of reaching out to physicians’ offices and hospitals in your area. Their referrals will provide a significant portion of your business. However, you must be aware that there are strategies that do and do not work for this. “Random Acts of Marketing”, as an article from puts it, do not necessarily work out. Foisting pens and notepads onto your contacts at referring physicians’ offices just distracts them from the work they need to be doing. The net gain is minimal, and the costs can really stack up.

Instead of presenting your referring providers with empty gifts, take the time to get to know the members of their staff who you have to interact with as part of the business aspect. Focus on building a relationship with them. Genuine relationships will get you further than “Random Acts of Marketing”.

This does not mean that you cannot provide gifts or little “thanks yous” to your referring providers. However, you should be careful to ensure you do not get carried away.

Pro-Tip: Always be mindful of anti-kickback laws to ensure that you do not unintentionally land your organization in trouble.

How to Cut Costs in Your Medical Imaging Business

Increasing Revenue isn’t the only way to increase imaging center profitability. Increasing profits for your medical imaging business can also be done by intelligently (this really must be stressed) trimming your overhead. If you can meet all of your needs for $100k cheaper each year, then think of how that $100k could be redirected once it’s freed up.

Don’t Sacrifice Long-Term Success for Short-Term Gain

In other words, don’t be short-sighted. Be careful how you make your cuts. Cutting employees, employee pay, or benefits could be especially harmful. The healthcare industry, more than most others, relies on the expertise of its employees. Cutting into that foundation of expertise could do more harm than good in the long run.

Invest in Updates

Some cost-cutting efforts may involve some heftier up-front payments to upgrade systems or train employees on new processes. However, you may find that the updates pay for themselves in short periods of time. This article by includes a few good examples, such as putting an end to CD-burning for patient images. There are now several options to move more processes to the cloud for patient convenience, which could ultimately prove to be cheaper.

Lead Magnets and Automated Emails

Lead magnets are a great tool for building a contact list. This process typically involves writing articles, which can be buffed by smart SEO content or boosted by a small ad pay, which attract an audience by answering questions or giving advice that people actively need and want. These can focus on things like “MRI at an imaging center vs at a hospital” or “Three easy tips for making your next hospital visit cheaper”. Then, readers will be prompted to give an email address to receive more, similar content.

This gives you an easy method for gathering email addresses, which can be useful for ad pushes or for building a knowledgeable reputation among your subscribers. These users can be targeted by your email campaigns as needed. Using combinations of magnets and marketing automation like this can provide an easy method for pulling in more revenue for an imaging center.

Getting More Revenue for Your Imaging Center Will Take Work

This much is obvious, sure. But it needs to be said. It won’t be easy, even with these tips – but we’ve worked to make it as easy as possible for you. Utilizing a mix of cost-cutting and advanced MRI marketing strategies, you should be able to give your imaging center’s profitability a boost. No more balancing over that pit of lava – let your competition do that.

If you want to see what other tricks we have up our sleeves, contact us to see what Diagnostics Marketing can do for your imaging center.