The healthcare consumer is now paying one-third of the cost of their care. They also exhibit consumeristic shopping behaviors when selecting health plans in the exchanges. Over the past couple of years, poll after poll finds that consumers like bundled care. With all the price and outcomes data now available to the healthcare consumer, it would seem to offer an opportunity to leverage consumer market interest and preference for a revenue opportunity.
What I don’t see is any innovative marketing by hospitals and health systems around bundled care and pricing, aimed at the healthcare consumers. The finance people are negotiating those deals with payers and employers to an extent and that is necessary. But really, is that just doing business the same old way that the healthcare enterprise has always done, while missing the market shift to a semi-retail consumer-centric business model?
True that not all care can be neatly bundled into a healthcare consumer friendly package, but a lot of it can. And if the healthcare enterprise wants grow and thrive in a consumer-centric healthcare model, then that means marketing innovation to reach the healthcare consumers.
Being first in the market with this type of marketing effort makes the healthcare enterprise a market leader not a market follower. In a copy cat industry, other healthcare enterprises will launch their bundled care and pricing effort, and differentiation will be lost. It always happens. Being first does give one some blue ocean to swim in before it becomes a purple, then red ocean of crowded competitors.
First one to the market place wins the perception battle, increases brand awareness and beings to move the market away from the confusing discussion and focus on hospital price, while clarifying for the healthcare consumer their choices.
As a marketing leader, one will have to do the homework, work closely with finance and sell the plan. This calls for healthcare marketing to begin the transition to become revenue marketers.
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. And growth is good.