Fee-for-service payments vs. care value payments. On one side you are rewarded for the production of care by filing beds. On the other side you're paid for providing the right care, at the right time, in the right location that in reality, keeps the patient out of a hospital or hospital-based service.
Healthcare marketers are caught in the middle of this brave new world trying to drive demand to put "heads in the beds" to generate revenue though the production of care, while trying to manage demand in new payment models that push patients to more appropriate care which may not be the hospital.
Somewhere, a group of entrepreneurs is looking at the process of care and have come to the conclusion that a hospital admission is a defect in the quality of care.
Are you just trying to survive?
An attitude, much often too common in hospital executive leadership that we are just trying to survive. This is sad really, when innovation, growth opportunities and new business development initiatives are being left on the table because hospital executives can't get out of the "we're just trying to survive" mentality.
If you're just trying to survive today without looking for market opportunity and finding ways to be more consumer- focused, innovative and non-traditional in the providing care, then you are not going to survive.
Are you being left behind?
Infusion centers, retail clinics, pharmaceutical advances, free-standing surgery centers and diagnostic clinics, remote monitoring, home health care, sub-acute services, patient management to prevent readmissions, medical device technological advances and many other services when taken together, have the potential to significantly change the way that healthcare is delivered. It will make the hospital admission of today, a defect in the process of care tomorrow.
Does that mean hospitals will go away? No, there are limits to this concept of the hospital admission as a defect in the quality of care. Many medically complex surgical procedures can only be performed in a hospital. ERs will always be needed. But the rest of it, maybe not.
Unless hospital executives and their marketing and planning departments start seeing the forest from the trees, just trying to survive is leading them away from innovation, opportunity and growth, at a time when others with non-traditional entrepreneurial backgrounds, may very well relegate the hospital to a place in the care continuum where an admission is a defect in the process of care.
So, are you still just trying to survive, or are you changing to what the market is demanding to remain relevant and needed?
Innovate, adapt and meet market needs, or become just another "big box" healthcare provider that goes by the wayside.
Michael Krivich is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 4,000 monthly pages views in over 52 countries worldwide. He is founder of the michael J group, a healthcare marketing consultancy dedicated to creating value through strategic marketing for hospitals and health system regardless of payment mechanism, either fee-for-service or value-based to increase market-share, revenue , brand and demonstrate actual return on marketing investment. Michael is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association.