Making the decision to offer Pre-Hire/Post-Offer testing is one thing. Actually going out and marketing that service is something altogether different – definitely different from marketing to physicians. The process can be a bit intimidating.
But like with most intimidating things, if you take it step-by-step and start with what you know – i.e. your current workers compensation patients, then marketing to employers can become pretty straightforward. The idea is this – look at the employers behind your current workers’ compensation case load. Or maybe go back and look at your work comp patients over the past year to get a bigger sample. Do you see any trends? Are most of your patients coming from a handful of local employers? If so, therein may lie some opportunities...
How do I identify employers using my existing patients? Ideally, your clinic has tracked the employers of your work comp patients over time. Doing so can help you identify the local companies experiencing the most injuries. If your clinic isn’t tracking that information in your EMR, it’s time to start. If this information is not in your EMR database, no problem. You should be able to determine the employer from the job description the therapist used to create job-specific exercises and return-to-work tests. If therapists are not routinely getting job descriptions and attaching them to patient records, that’s certainly a practice that needs to be implemented. If you have no way of identifying employer information from your EMR or records, try following up with recently treated work comp patients to see where they are working and what jobs they were doing at the time of injury. This will allow you to identify the employers to target. When you approach employers by saying you have noticed a lot of injuries in a given job, they are much more likely to listen.
What type of employers? When you’re digging up business in your own back yard, you might find a wide variety of business sizes and types. Which ones should you go after first? Consider targeting employers who are most likely to need injury prevention services. Companies that:
- Are self-insured or insured externally with very high deductibles
- Have more injuries and costs than they’d like – or can afford
- Have a strong safety culture
- Have high turn-over due to injuries or people who leave prematurely because the job is too hard
Who do I talk to? Once you’ve identified a potential employer client, where do you go from there? Whenever possible start at the top. If you can reach key decision makers like an owner, CEO or CFO, great. Having the support of a top executive greatly increases the likelihood the safety and risk managers will take your calls and give your proposals serious consideration. If starting at the top isn’t feasible, then talking to either the Safety/Risk Management will likely be your best entry point into the employer’s system.
What about HR? Although the Director of Human Resources also would seem to be a logical starting point, oftentimes these professionals are actually a barrier to implementing pre-hire or return-to-work testing. Remember, a primary role of the HR department getting new hires in the door quickly and efficiently. Even when HR sees the value of pre-hire testing, adding an additional step to the hiring process can seem like solving one problem while creating another. Most often, starting with Safety and Risk Management gains you the initial internal support needed to give your project legs. Human Resources can be brought in and included in the later stages of the decision-making process. Finally, some companies will want their legal counsel to weigh in as well. Regardless of your audience, be prepared to overcome their doubts with evidence of success – in the form of fewer injuries and reduced expenses - to share with them.
What do I say? Once you have identified employers and perhaps trends within their company’s jobs, try to contact the safety and/or risk managers to discuss:
- Why they think these jobs are causing injuries?
- Who is most likely to get Injured, the newly hired or more experienced employees?
- Are they seeing any differences in injury rates across different shifts? With different equipment?
- Are there other jobs that are problematic?
- What have they done previously to try to address the problem?
Talk to them about their interest in prevention:
- Pre-hire/post-offer Physical Abilities Tests?
- Return-to-Work Fitness for Duty Tests?
- Periodic Fitness for Duty?
- If they’ve ever tried pre-hire/post-offer physical abilities testing before?
- If so, what were the results?
- How many people they hire annually?
- Are they self-insured?
- Who would be part of a decision-making team, if they were to consider this?
- How serious a problem is this?
Asking these questions well help you get to know and understand the employer and their concerns. The more you understand, the easier it will be to see if this is truly an opportunity or just a waste of your time. You will also understand how to position your service so as to get the best possible outcome for all.
Why should I do this? By providing injury prevention services, you help both employees and employers while generating recurring cash-based revenue for your clinic. If employers have high injury costs, it affects productivity and profitability. They spend money on injury costs that could be used to buy new equipment or give employees raises or increased benefits. When employees get injured, their earning capacity suffers. In fact, the US Department of Labor says injured workers earn 15% less for the next 10 years than they would had they not been injured. And then there’s this: with traditional reimbursements under increasing pressure, your clinic’s viability may rest on securing new forms of recurring, cash-based revenue. When no one gets hurt, everyone wins.
Get started today. Marketing pre-hire Physical Ability Testing services is not the monster you thought. Breaking it down into simple steps will tame the beast and make it easy to manage. If you would like to learn more about marketing PAT, read our white paper Marketing Injury Prevention Services.
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