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The Best Conference Giveaways

By: Rachel Bowles

Have you ever been to a healthcare conference? Typically, you travel somewhere away from home, so when you come back, you have to show not only your boss that there was value, but also whoever you left at home. I have small kids so if my husband has to play Mr. Mom on top of his normal duties for a few days, it better be for a good reason. For my kids, one thing that helps to ease the pain of my absence is knowing that there was good ROI for my trip. Just kidding, it’s presents. They love toys, candy, gadgets, and whatever else I come home with.

Like many others, I cruise the vendor fair for giveaways. Some vendors get really creative! This last trip, I came home with an infrared flying ball, rubber ducks, a squishy microscope, and more red hots than I know what to do with. I also snagged some funky socks for my husband and one of those stick on things that covers your webcam in case you attend meetings from home in your pajamas (I’m not saying I do this, but I’ve heard some do).

As a vendor, I also sit on the other side. I’m not the only one scoping vendor booths for good giveaways. There are the drive-by-ers that come in fast, grab as much as they can off the table and keep going. Then there are the polite partakers, the people who eye your table, but politely hear the shortest version of your spiel before grabbing the goods and running. This year, we gave away these lululemon style bags that were pretty popular, charging stations, light-up pens, and fidget spinners, because I’m not the only one with kids.

Here’s the thing, though, our best giveaway wasn’t sitting on the table. My favorite thing that we give away is a free search for patient insurance information that the hospital previously didn’t know about.

It worked like this. We offered hospitals the chance to supply us with information from 5,000 self-pay encounters that we would use to find coverage the hospital didn’t know existed. You’d be surprised by how much we find. For one hospital, they found that over 200 of the encounters they thought were self-pay were with patients that had Medicaid, and they were able to bill over $30,000! No matter what, they get to keep the results, bill the insurance, and collect the cash. It’s about as close to free money as you can get, and I love that. Admittedly, your kids might not be too impressed, but I bet your boss would be.

Is finding missed coverage for free appealing? Unlike the fidget spinners, this giveaway isn’t limited to conference-goers.

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