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  • Writer's pictureMuhammad Sair Khan

Marketing Techniques for Addiction Treatment Centers




Addiction treatment centers have not always had a clean track record for ethical marketing techniques. Facilities often pay marketers for patients to enter their facility - a practice referred to as body brokering. Other illegitimate practices include facilities, many times unequipped paying high dollar on Google Ads to land the highest ad position and therefore attract the most patients to their facility.


These unscrupulous tactics have been recognized and are now being put to a stop by both private companies and the government. In September 2017, Google prohibited all treatment center advertising online. Now, treatment centers must receive special certification to advertise through Google, one of the top advertising sources in the world.


The new opioid SUPPORT law signed in October 2018 has also outlawed the practice of body brokering. Treatment centers can no longer pay for referrals.


These changes are good first step in ridding the addiction treatment industry of illegal marketing practices. They also give ethical treatment centers across the country a fairer shot at marketing their legitimate services to patients and healthcare providers.


Physician Referral


A key way to gain new patients is to build up referral relationships in your community. Meeting with outpatient mental health professionals, primary care physicians, and emergency department personnel gives you an opportunity to showcase your quality care and develop referral relationships.


For meetings with other healthcare providers, be sure to bring relevant information about your facility. You want other providers to know:

  • What levels of care you offer

  • What insurance coverage you take

  • Your data-backed patient outcomes

  • Any other details that set your facility apart

Leave your direct contact information and the referral line for your facility. If a physician does send you a patient, always thank them (with a card, not gifts or money) and keep them updated on their patient’s progress.

Become a Community Expert


Another way to keep your facility fresh in the minds of both physicians and potential patients in your community is to participate in appropriate community events. These opportunities help show your legitimacy and make your value to the community apparent. You may do things like:

  • Write op-eds about the opioid crisis in your local paper

  • Offer free Narcan and training on how to use it for community members like firefighters, police officers, paramedics, or even just concerned families

  • Sponsor and attend appropriate events in the area such as 5ks to promote suicide prevention

These opportunities make you the addiction treatment expert in your area and help build trust with the community.

Master Google AdWords Techniques


As you become AdWords Certified, you also need to be sure your website will perform well in both organic and paid search. This means ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, loads quickly, and features quality content using the right keywords.

When you are ready to run Ads, target as specifically as possible within your area to reduce your costs and ensure the right people see your marketing. You can learn who to target by looking at data on your current patient population. If your average patient is 35 and makes $45,000 per year, that is who you should target through Google, Facebook, and any other online advertising.

Free up more money for advertising by ensuring you receive the right reimbursement for your care. Datapro can help you do that. Learn more about our services.

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