Live Healthy MD Bariatric Program Growth
Case Studies
Case Study: How this Bariatric Program Growth Resulted in a 43% Increase in Online Leads

Live Healthy MD is a comprehensive bariatric surgery and medical weight loss clinic in Georgia, specializing in treating obesity. They opened in 2011 in the garden city, Augusta, Georgia, and were doing a fair number of bariatric surgeries each year. However, they operated like many other bariatric practices—solely focused on their surgery volume, not on achieving bariatric program growth through bariatric marketing.

The Challenge in the Market

Around 2017, two other bariatric programs opened in Augusta, making the bariatric market more competitive. At the same time, some restructuring occurred with the hospitals in the area that resulted in the Live Healthy MD surgeons losing a handful of their physician referrals to the employed surgeon at the local hospital. 

Although Live Healthy MD was an established brand, they lost market share to their competition, and as a private practice, were desperate to grow their volume again. 

In 2018, they hired a full-time marketing employee (who is now the COO of Bariatric Centers of America) to focus on the strategic growth of the program. And within two years, their surgical volume increased by nearly 55% despite the increasing competition within the city of Augusta. From this case study at Live Healthy MD, the BCA team found that they could commercialize their strategies to help other bariatric programs accelerate their growth and stay competitive in their market. 

Our Approach to Bariatric Program Growth

Live Healthy MD Brand PlaybookWhen tasked with growing surgery volume, we first had to do a deep dive into the program to understand how they were currently generating patient leads. This began with a website audit and review of the current referral sources. 

We found that with no website forms to collect patient information, the program lost a significant amount of traffic in hoping patients would call the office to request an appointment. And what we have learned about the bariatric market is that most patients are unsure if weight loss surgery is the step they want to take; therefore, calling a bariatric program to schedule a visit seems too committing. 

Similarly, the website was filled with paragraph text of medical language that was not digestible for the average person—resulting in high bounce rates, which ultimately affected SEO performance and website traffic.

With the overhaul of the original website and the implementation of other marketing strategies, Live Healthy MD significantly grew its online brand. From 2019 to 2020, they saw a 43% (35% to 50%) increase in leads generated from an online source (website form). 

Similarly, Live Healthy MD also saw a steady increase in offline referrals (physician and self-referrals) which we attribute to the rise in brand recognition for the patients and referring providers. 

“We recognized that there was an opportunity to grow the market if we took the right approach to digital marketing and provided patients with the valuable information they wanted to see to take the next step and start their journey. As a result, we saw a growth in the market and a growth in market share. ”

Bariatric Program Growth in Market

By educating more potential patients about the dangers of obesity through relevant digital content and continued posting, we grew the market of interested bariatric patients. 

Bariatric Program Growth in Market Share 

Live Healthy MD grew their share of the market by instituting more robust marketing techniques and a more efficient bariatric process (due to the implementation of a patient navigation tool). 

The Outcome

Live Healthy MD wanted to create a brand focused on developing and curating science-based resources for bariatric patients. They wanted to take a unique approach to build and scale their brand, quite different from other bariatric programs. 

Since bariatric acceleration services began for Live Healthy MD, they have seen a steady incline in all referral types—physician, self, and online. In particular, online referral leads have grown substantially due to the continued effort toward digital marketing and building brand authority within the field of bariatric medicine and weight loss surgery.

Live Healthy MD focused on curating a brand mission and vision that bariatric patients could resonate with. Through the bariatric acceleration efforts, Live Healthy MD Augusta has grown their online leads by 43% and improved their surgery volume by over 50%, and is still growing today. 

Lou Imbrogno
Louis is a senior-level healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience in healthcare management. He has worked at a senior executive level in large hospitals and health systems and in private practice administration. Most notably, Lou served as CEO of the Clinical Integrated Delivery Division at OhioHealth System. He has extensive experience in Managed Care Contracting, Physician Practice Management, Healthcare Information Technology, and Corporate Finance.
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