Calculating Patient Lifetime Value: A Step-by-Step Guide and Its Importance

This article delves into patient acquisition strategies, emphasizing the importance of patient lifetime value calculation. It provides a step-by-step guide to calculate lifetime value, helping medical practices enhance growth and patient retention.

Calculating Patient Lifetime Value: A Step-by-Step Guide and Its Importance


Patient acquisition plays a pivotal role in the growth of any medical practice, and in 2023, this endeavor requires a multifaceted approach. To attract new patients effectively, medical practices need to excel in various areas, including local search visibility, appointment flexibility, content engagement, and digital communication channels, such as text messaging.

This article delves into the importance of patient acquisition, how to optimize patient lifetime value, and a step-by-step guide on calculating the patient's lifetime value.

Section 1: The Importance of Patient Acquisition in 2023

In this section, we explore the changing landscape of patient acquisition in 2023. The focus is on strategies like ranking high in local search results, offering flexible appointment scheduling, content engagement, and digital communication as essential tools for attracting new patients. We also delve into the significance of patient feedback and how it influences online reviews.

Section 2: Optimizing Patient Lifetime Value (LTV)

Optimizing patient LTV is crucial for building long-term relationships and encouraging return visits. This section provides a comprehensive guide to achieving this. It includes strategies for follow-up communication tailored to your medical specialty, patient status, and marketing approach. Real-life examples are discussed, such as how dentists, dermatologists, and med spas can effectively optimize patient LTV through tailored outreach.

Section 3: How to Calculate Patient Lifetime Value

Understanding the patient's LTV involves making educated assumptions about their visit frequency and potential revenue from future visits. This section outlines a step-by-step guide for calculating patient LTV, including determining the number of visits, average revenue per visit, and the estimated duration of a patient's relationship with the practice.

Calculating Patient Lifetime Value

To calculate patient lifetime value (LTV), follow these steps:

Determine the number of visits: Consider how frequently a patient is likely to visit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people visit their physician's office an average of 3.1 times per year.

Find the average revenue per visit: As of 2022, the average cost for a primary care visit was approximately $218. For simplicity, let's estimate that each visit is worth $200.

Estimate the number of years a person is likely to be a patient: This will vary by patient age. For the sake of this exercise, let's assume the newly acquired patient is 30 years old and is likely to stay with the practice for 10 years.

Calculate the patient LTV using the formula: Pre-visit revenue x annual visits x years with the practice = patient LTV.

Example: $200 x 3.1 x 10 = $6,200

The patient LTV for this example patient is $6,200. Repeat these steps for other patient profiles to calculate their respective LTV. This calculation can vary based on your practice's specialty and services.

Section 4: Patient Acquisition ROI: Going Beyond the First Transaction

The patient acquisition cost is an essential consideration when evaluating the ROI of your efforts. In this section, we explore how the acquisition cost relates to the patient's lifetime value. A hypothetical example, involving online advertising, illustrates how to calculate ROI. This section emphasizes the importance of considering patient LTV when determining ROI.

Section 5: Building Strong Patient Retention

This section emphasizes the critical role of your practice's approach in building strong patient retention. Key questions about convenience, relevant information, feedback responsiveness, and delivering an exceptional patient experience are addressed. By focusing on these elements, practices can enhance patient retention, subsequently increasing each patient's LTV.


In the evolving landscape of healthcare, patient acquisition and patient lifetime value play crucial roles in a medical practice's success. To thrive in 2023 and beyond, it is vital to adopt a multifaceted approach that includes online visibility, communication, and tailored outreach. Understanding patient LTV and its role in ROI provides valuable insights for sustaining growth and building lasting patient relationships.

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