Convenience: The Frightening Undercurrent of Healthcare Competition

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

competition“You nailed it,” one doctor wrote. “Healthcare is changing and CONVENIENCE is just one of the operative concepts for future consumers of healthcare.”

In our recent post about what’s really behind the CVS tobacco announcement, we raised a flag about increasing competition as CVS/Caremark and other national retailers are clearly committed to reinventing themselves as a provider resource for the public.

Competition is always a timely—and sometimes frightening—topic for doctors and marketing professionals. It seems that our “Shocker” article about how and why the competitive environment will likely intensify radically, stirred up a range of reader comments.

Our readers offered a range of insightful views. (Please join the discussion.)

“Change or die.” –Claudian, In Eutropium

“Excellent understanding by a marketing professional regarding the politics of the evolving health care marketplace. You nailed it. Healthcare is changing and CONVENIENCE is just one of the operative concepts for future consumers of healthcare.

“Patients are not going to wait to see a physician. Healthcare “drive-thrus” are on the way! To prevail, physicians need to change their delivery models in the new health age…and become more efficient.”

Scary, but competition makes you stronger…

“Good insight. However, pharmacy giants getting into certain micro-health offerings are not necessarily bad. It just means any existing healthcare provider needs to be smarter, better and more focused from a business standpoint.

“That’s not a bad thing. Having CVS or others breathing down your neck means anyone currently offering the services the pharmacies want to take a share of has a nice forced opportunity to analyze what they do best, what they should invest in, what they no longer perhaps should do in a few years phased out, and what they can do better, faster, more profitably and more brand and expertise-focused for the coming years in a changed environment.

“Competition is scary. But competition can shine a light and a laser focus often in conversations that otherwise might not take place.”

Affluence, Convenience, Expertise…

 “The good news is that the target customer/patient of a Walgreen’s or CVS isn’t necessarily the target patient of the most successful clinics in the US. 
Not that the average affluent patient never goes to Walgreen’s or CVS, but I think it will be a while before that patient sees a drugstore as a viable replacement for going to their own doctor.

Primary care docs and internists who may be threatened by moves like this should focus on emphasizing what expertise they provide their patients as physicians, over and against the NPs who will likely be providing care in these drugstore clinics.”

Where do you weigh-in on this important topic? What changes have you made to contend with a shifting competitive landscape? Let us hear from you.

See our previous post and other reader comments here: Shocker: What’s Really Behind the CVS Tobacco Announcement.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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