Affinity Health Plus: Building Your Bottom Line

“As the United States continues to see an increase in the proportion of elderly individuals with the aging of the baby boomer population, health systems are looking for ways to gain seniors’ loyalty and generate revenue. Senior membership programs have proven to be successful methods of achieving both goals.”

The Health Care Advisory Board, “Characteristics of Senior Membership Programs at large Health Systems,” January 16, 2003

“High-quality [affinity] programs enhance hospitals’ public images, thereby indirectly increasing market share and customer loyalty. Typically, members or participants of the programs utilize hospital services, and often refer friends and family to the hospital… resulting downstream revenues readily justify the financial viability of membership programs. These programs also advance the hospital’s mission of providing valuable services to the community.”

The Health Care Advisory Board, “Hospital-Based Membership Programs” May 26, 2000

Increased Utilization

Increasing the number of members in your affinity program results in an increased ability to build a strong professional relationship with large blocks of those members (bonding). After establishing a trust-based relationship the affinity manager is in a strong position to influence the health care decision-making process (channel them to your facilities). The result is an increase in utilization of your services.

Effective affinity programs will have a utilization based return on investment (ROI) of $5 – $80 per each dollar invested, and this does not take into account direct revenue, fund raising, branding value, or political influence.

Keep in mind that ROI is not your primary indicator of success. It is only used to verify that your program is paying for itself in real dollars.

Direct Revenue

Education programs bring in revenue of their own. Well established affinity programs can add a 5-15% markup to their program cost. These resources are often used as ‘retained earnings’ in order to further build program quality without having to increase budget allocations.

Fund Raising Capabilities

Whether raising money for a foundation, for a charitable cause, or for capital equipment, affinity programs are proven effective. Affinity giving represents a windfall that can easily eclipse the utilization based ROI calculations.

Additionally, increasingly moneys are available from Federal and State agencies, as well as corporate and private foundations. If these dollars are of interest to your organization, affinity programs can put you in the winning position for grants and ‘scholarships.’

Branding Value

Affinity programs are one of the most cost effective tools for helping to establish your brand to a target audience. You will become the ‘preferred provider’ through establishing your customers’ expectations, reinforcing your marketing directives, and telling your story with effective frequency.

Increased ‘Political Clout’

Political clout is a soft value that is not easily measured. But ask your political advocate about the ‘value’ of bringing 100 senior citizens to Capitol Hill to help them lobby on Medicaid spending. What about the effectiveness of 300 letters, or 3,000 phone calls in support of your most recent expansion efforts? The dollar value may be ‘soft’ but the increased strength of your voice on policy decisions is palpable.

Visit NHS Heroes UK medication for more information about Affinity Health Plus today.