Existing Patients Are Your Most Valuable Asset. Here’s Why.


As a healthcare marketer, you’re tasked with driving appointment volume and acquiring new patients. You can increase the value and effectiveness of your strategies by helping your organization achieve its business goals that include improving quality scores, maximizing reimbursements, and hitting revenue targets. This can be done by focusing on existing patients as your most valuable asset. Driving existing patients to schedule appointments leads to better patient outcomes, quality measures, revenue, and a reduction in costs.

While many marketers focus on new patient acquisition campaigns to drive revenue growth, they often overlook the fact that there’s existing untapped value in the database of patients they already have that will help them achieve their organizational goals faster. The cost of acquiring a new patient can be 5-25 times the cost of activating an existing patient.[1] Your existing patients may be delaying care; they may be unaware of the care you can provide; they may not know how to access care; and they may not know what type of care to receive next. Patient activation programs can help you unlock that untapped value in your existing patient data.

Advantages of Building a Strategy for Existing Patient Activation

Patient activation programs can be used to help maximize patient outcomes, reduce the cost of care, and build patient loyalty. While acquiring new patients is an important piece of the overall marketing picture, patient activation has unique advantages including the following:

  • Since you already have data on your existing patients, it makes it easier to predict services they need and that you should suggest.
  • There’s already an established relationship between the healthcare organization and the patient, which removes barriers to presenting additional recommended services for the patient and the patient accepting and trusting the recommended additional services.
  • Existing patients are more inclined to seek out additional services from healthcare organizations on their own if they are given direction on where and how to easily access them. 
  • Lifetime value can be increased by identifying and communicating the next best action for each existing patient.
  • Building loyalty with existing patients can help retain them long-term.

Activate Patients with These Seven Tips

Effective patient activation campaigns will help your healthcare organization increase patient lifetime value (LTV) and optimize patient outcomes. Here are seven tips for getting started with patient activation campaigns:   

  1. Make resources readily available, promote self-service, and digitize processes to make it easier for patients to schedule appointments.
  2. Act as trusted health advisors and view patient interactions with your healthcare organization as relationship-building opportunities that can also provide your organization with valuable insights about your patients. 
  3. Use data gained from patient interactions with your healthcare organization to define communication strategies specific to each patient. 
  4. Take advantage of CRM intelligence to personalize every patient interaction with your company and make sure your communications are relevant and highly actionable for each patient.
  5. Take advantage of AI technology to automate communications and mundane tasks. 
  6. Create patient activation programs that are always on by using AI to make sense of each patient’s unique clinical data and recommending services at the ideal time for each patient. 
  7. Reach patients early so they don’t miss care that will have a huge impact on their outcomes. You can use patient data to discover those who may be delaying care.

With Actium Health's CENTARI™, next best actions for each patient are identified based on clinical and behavioral factors. Our models decipher likely current and future medical needs for each patient, making recommendations highly relevant to each patient. Actium Health’s CENTARI™ is able to factor in patient preferences and their likelihood to follow through on any given next best action.

Delayed Care Can Be Costly

existing patients are your most valuable asset

Chances are, many of your patients have delayed or avoided medical care in the past few years due to COVID-19-related concerns. By June 30, 2020, approximately 4 in 10 U.S. adults had delayed or avoided medical care including urgent or emergency care and routine care.[2] 

Delayed care impacts patient outcomes and ends up costing healthcare organizations a lot more in the end. Patient data can be analyzed using AI, and those patients who need care most urgently can be identified so that they can be notified and don’t miss vital diagnostic or preventative care appointments. 

Existing patients should be treated as your most valuable asset and in return, will identify your healthcare system as their trusted health advisor. By building relationships with your patients, you will gain valuable data that can be used to make recommendations for their care. Your patients will be more likely to follow through with your care recommendations when you have built up trust and deliver personalized and timely care recommendations. 

Deliver ROI with Patient Activation Programs

Patient activation programs are the next level of marketing that can help you as a marketer deliver meaningful ROI for your marketing efforts. Your existing patients have untapped value that can be discovered quickly by accessing the data you have already gathered on them. Marketing campaigns targeting your existing patients who are underserved will help you reach your goals faster and less expensively.

A survey conducted by Actium Health revealed that many doctors and health systems didn't meet patients' communication expectations during the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, patients are re-examining relationships with their doctors. To learn more about patients' rising expectations and new opportunities for health systems to connect, download the industry report: The Impact of COVID-19 on Patient Engagement Expectations.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Patient Engagement Expectations


  1. The Value of Keeping the Right Customers, Harvard Business Review
  2. Delay or Avoidance of Medical Care Because of COVID-19–Related Concerns — United States, June 2020, CDC