The Changing World of Healthcare

We are living in an age of change.  There are the small and quick changes of technology, which are usually fun for us, and there is the slow change in healthcare, which tends to be more confusing.  With healthcare, you can say in an oversimplified way that we are moving towards three coverage models – government-backed, insurance, and private-care.  We were always somewhat aware of these models, but now that it’s a big topic of conversation, it’s really important to understand how this change impacts our personal lives.  We always have the option to read the media coverage, but that tends to be more philosophical or focused on specific issues.  From a general point of view, though, it might be easiest for the healthcare service providers to explain to us, the consumers, what they do in very simple terms and how their services fit into everything else.

In general, larger organizations like insurance firms, hospitals, or doctors, remain fairly well known.  However, with the slow changes in healthcare coverage, we’re seeing a lot of existing service providers lose visibility and profitability.  With the Affordable Care Act, we’re also seeing a lot of new organizations emerging.  These two latter types of organizations are the ones that need to find their voices and realize that system-generated referrals are not enough, because we’re moving towards patient referrals as another source of business revenue.  What does this really mean?  These organizations must change the way they are approaching the market so that the consumer understands what they do and why they should be used as a healthcare service provider.  Here are some basic suggestions for service providers to best market themselves:

  1. Generate brand identity
    Consumers need to know who you are, what you do, why you’re better, and why they should choose you.
  2. Communicate your value
    Make sure your marketing communications have a consistent message and that you are reaching the right target audience with the right message.
  3. Provide the service that is expected of you
    You get to decide the level of customer service of you want to offer – high end, basic, or something in between, but then you must deliver on your promise.

These simple principles will help consumers, like us, understand our healthcare choices so that we can make more informed decisions.  These fundamentals also will make it easier for service providers to attract consumers who will be pleased with their services and therefore reinforce the strength of their businesses.

 

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