Business

Healthcare Marketing Matters

The financial stakes haven’t been higher than health care change steamrolls along. There is the growing and choice assured healthcare consumer demanding price and quality data. Reimbursement declines in Medicare and Medicaid continue unabated. Then there is the shift from fee-for-service to risk-based payments and new care models appearing almost every day resulting in inpatient utilization declines. And all this has the greatest effect about how a business engages and retains in the network the health care consumer across a wide variety of touch-points, encounters, and channels.

You know the old adage, it costs five times as much to discover a new customer than to keep an existing one. It really is a classic new day in healthcare. Patients are becoming highly informed consumers making purchase decisions predicated on price and sooner or later will be utilizing quality data in that process.

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So exactly what does that mean for the healthcare provider? Without strong healthcare consumer engagement and retention strategies, the financial ramifications of losing the healthcare consumer to other providers and seeking treatment outside of the network can be ruinous. This means that one needs to understand the healthcare consumer as nothing you’ve seen prior, anticipating their needs by being proactive in establishing a meaningful romantic relationship with a constant stream of two-way communication. It is an opportunity to reinforce your key brand messages and promise. It’s an opportunity to create customer evangelists for your healthcare organization, which through word-of-mouth marketing will bring additional healthcare income and consumers.

Transparency and Quality dashboards. This is about improving treatment, using guidelines, learning and improving as a system to the individual level by engaging the patient. A provider must anticipate providing individual-level quality and patient utilization reports, to engage the person in a meaningful way to generate change in health behaviors, and foster appropriate utilization of services in the right setting.

One has to be in continuous contact and monitoring member behavior, reactions, and beliefs. It’s all part of the patient experience program and process. Retention and Engagement strategies are based upon the needs of the health care consumer, not the business. Understanding the ongoing customer experience management process and program. This isn’t nearly delivering an exceptional customer support at the point of care.

You must identify all customer touch-points, from starting contact to end point, and manage that experience across all of those touch-points. Developing comprehensive member marketing communications that are clear, significant, and drive engagement personalized to the average person level. This is ongoing communications beyond health and wellness tips really. They need to also be delivered the way that the member wants them, be it with an Ipad, member web portal, email, hard copy, direct mail, telephonic etc. One size does not fit all.

Engaging the health care consumer through cultural media. Social media methods in participating and keeping the healthcare consumer as a customer are almost immediate and no matter age group or demographic characteristics are growing exponentially. Failure to add the interpersonal to mass media route in the organizational retention and engagement strategy is well, inexcusable. With so much on the bowl of healthcare leadership in aiming to survive, healthcare consumer engagement and retention can show up at the bottom of the list. Going in the brave” new world” of healthcare consumerism forward, it’s one of the new critical essential business mandates whether one realizes it or not. To engage and keep is to endure and develop. Happy Birthday to Healthcare Marketing Matters!

On February 17, 2007, I started writing Healthcare Marketing Matters blog, and it looks like HMM should be seven years old barely. But it has been a huge selection of tens and post of a large number of page views, here’s to another seven years. Thank you for reading, commenting and working so hard day-in and day-out to make healthcare marketing more tactical and visionary.