Sunday, June 30, 2013

Can bundled care and pricing give you a marketing edge?

As the burgeoning healthcare consumer looks at you from a price, outcomes and experience perspective, it naturally follows, well at least for me anyway, to wonder if bundled care and the price certainty that goes along with it can give you a market edge.

I think it does and here’s why.
Even as healthcare reform kicks into high gear in 2014, there will be a cornucopia of diversity in the payment models in the healthcare market place, and you have to be ready for all of them.  Bundled care and its price certainty can go a long way to differentiate yourself in the market to the healthcare consumers not in an ACO, Medical Home, or narrow networks, and drive profitable market share and revenue to you. It could even make you more attractive in a narrow network of providers.  And I am pretty sure employers will like it too, especially those that are self-insured.

I get it that not all care can be neatly bundled into a healthcare consumer friendly package, but a lot of it can. And if you want to survive in a consumer-centric healthcare model, then that means you will have to meet healthcare consumers needs, not yours. That means price certainty, transparency in outcomes and experience.
Don’t believe me, then take a look at this short article Poll finds consumers like bundled care, Healthcare Payer News, April 17, 2013. Consumers like bundled care because of offers price certainty. It is transparent, easily understood and for the most part affordable, especially for the uninsured. There will still be a significant portion of the population who will not have insurance even under the ACA and the expanded Medicaid programs.

It is inevitable that one of your competitors in your market is going to come out with a bundle care programs for specific diagnosis’s and procedures.  When they do, they will have the healthcare consumer’s attention.  First one to the market place wins the perception battle with this, and moves the market away from the confusion of hospital price, and clarifies for the healthcare consumer their immediate choices.
As I have written before, the new market drivers for hospitals in an evolving consumer-centric market are price, outcomes and experience.  Bundled care can deliver on all three market dimensions.

Nobody said this was ever going to be easy.

Michael J. Krivich, MHA, FACHE, PCM, is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 5,000 monthly pages views read in over 52 countries worldwide on Healthcare Marketing Matters. These views are my own. He is founder of the michael J group, a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association, Like us on  facebook at the michael J group, and connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pheed. 

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