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Patient Loyalty Programs Show Their True Value

   February 01, 2012

At Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, MI, the acronym "VIP" has taken on a whole new meaning: Very Important Patient. The 330-bed hospital runs a rewards card program, offering perks to hopefully build patient loyalty. Botsford is one of many hospitals around the country instituting loyalty programs in an effort to outpace their competitors. But do these programs work, and are they worth it?

Botsford launched its VIP program in 2010, initially as a referral service to link potential patients with doctors, according to The Washington Post. Any community member can register for a card. VIP members get access to free valet parking, a concierge to help connect them with a physician or specialist, access to a physician within 24 hours, and a 10% discount at the gift shop and on nonprescription drugs at the outpatient pharmacy.

"The Botsford Very Important Patient (VIP) program is our way of extending premier services and valuable discounts to you, our patients, because you deserve special treatment," the hospital website states.

Marketing perks to seniors

The VIP program targets the senior population, featuring images of happy elderly patients on its microsite. More than 900 community members signed up for VIP access, most of them recruited through traditional direct mailing.

Marianne Aiello is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.

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