Desert Orthopaedic Center

In the spring of 2023, Desert Orthopaedic Center (DOC) faced a challenge common to many healthcare providers: optimizing its patient mix and procedure flow to maximize revenue.

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Desert Orthopaedics Center CEO/General Counsel

Michael Pendleton

CEO/General Counsel

“We started off with a brand new physician. He was able to push aside the general orthopedics and get to 70% of his practice inside of a year with joint replacement, which is a very quick turnaround unlike we’ve ever seen before."

Total Knee Replacement Patient Acquisition


In the fall of 2023, Desert Orthopaedic Center (DOC)a renowned 20-physician orthopedic practice located in Las Vegas, Nevada—faced a challenge common to many healthcare providers: optimizing its patient mix and procedure flow to maximize revenue. In other words, DOC wanted to increase revenue through an increase in high-value procedures. 

The practice, known for its commitment to excellence in musculoskeletal care, had historically excelled in delivering high-quality treatment but realized that an imbalanced patient mix was impeding its full revenue potential. This realization sparked the need for a deeper analysis of DOC’s patient demographics, insurance mix, and procedure flow.


In the fall of 2023, DOC was looking to increase high-revenue procedures, in particular, total knee replacements. Despite DOC’s desire to attract patients who needed knee replacements, the organization was 1) hesitant to send marketing messages that referenced the procedure specifically for fear of HIPAA violations and 2) unable to ensure their marketing messages would reach the people who actually needed a knee-replacement. 

The hesitation to use procedure-specific marketing is all too common in healthcare. In fact, typical healthcare marketing messages are often cautious, generalized, and less effective due to these same hesitations, and in September of 2023, DOC’s marketing messages were no different. Its previous marketing campaigns—while still valuable—were constrained to broad, orthopedic-focused messages, limiting DOC’s ability to effectively target and convert potential patients.

Additionally, aside from broad demographic and geographic trends, DOC had little guidance in the way of determining which households should receive knee-replacement-specific marketing messages. Essentially, DOC could only employ a spray-and-pray marketing method, where a majority of valuable marketing dollars are likely wasted on sending ads to people with no need for a knee replacement in the hopes of reaching the few people who do.


Using HIPAA-compliant patient targeting tools, Desert Orthopaedic Center began creating and sending customized postcards to households with residents needing knee replacements. In fact, the people who received a postcard advertising knee replacement services for DOC had a whopping 90% likelihood of requiring a total knee replacement.

To identify and reach these prime patients, DOC took 3 simple steps all inside the SocialClimb app:

  1. Selected a desired procedure (in this case, knee replacements)
  2. Identified where this procedure should be performed (a particular DOC office) 
  3. Designed and deployed procedure-specific postcards (in this case, postcards advertising knee replacement services)

Over the span of three weeks, DOC dispatched 19,234 postcards to the households identified in the SocialClimb platform. 


This campaign yielded a 3,191% return on investment, with a total of 190 surgical interventions, more than $2 million in charges, and an expected collectible revenue of $1.2 million, while costing $37,500. 

The Power of Patient Targeting with SocialClimb 

DOC’s knee replacement campaign is a testament to the power of SocialClimb’s Healthcare Marketing Platform and its patient targeting capabilities. The strategic use of customized postcards combined with the platform’s targeting capabilities resulted in an astronomical 3,191% Return on Ad Spend, characterized by low acquisition costs and substantial revenue growth.

SocialClimb’s HIPAA-Compliant Patient Targeting leverages advanced data modeling techniques using 2000 data points on every adult in the US to build target audiences. SocialClimb’s sophisticated use of machine learning algorithms enables healthcare providers to target patients by procedure and insurance type. 

This level of precision not only enhances the efficiency of healthcare marketing efforts but also aligns perfectly with HIPAA regulations. This approach allows healthcare providers to reach the right patients at the right time with the right message all while adhering to the strict privacy standards set by HIPAA.

About Desert Orthopaedics 

Desert Orthopaedic Center, founded in 1970 by Dr. John H. Payne and Dr. Chester W. Eskey, provides care for problems in the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.

Since 1970, the center has evolved into its current group of orthopaedic surgeons. DOC provides general orthopaedic care, and each doctor has special expertise in a subspecialty area: sports medicine, total joint replacement or revision, arthroscopic reconstruction of the knee and shoulder, microscopic hand surgery, pediatric orthopaedics, scoliosis and spinal deformities, spinal surgery, and foot and ankle reconstruction. To stay current with the latest orthopaedic care techniques, DOC doctors participate in seminars, conferences, and research studies.

DOC’s primary goal is excellence in the care of patients. They are committed to providing streamlined, efficient, subspecialty, state-of-the-art orthopaedic care of the highest quality found anywhere in the nation. DOC has been a SocialClimb patient since 2016.