Keeping the roof over your head when it looks like the sky is falling.
A solid plan for healthcare marketing is a fundamental business tool for coping and succeeding in the face of healthcare reform and other changes. Competition has increased ...the roll-up trend created more groups...and economic pressures push down on reimbursement and elective care.
Here's a checklist of challenges and situations where marketing means business.
Ask one hundred people about what is going to happen and you'll hear at least one hundred different answers.
The operative word is "change," and in our experience, the only effective way to deal with change in any healthcare organization is to operate from the strength of a specific plan. That's true in business in general and no less so in medical practices, hospitals, for physicians, surgeons, dentists, and for healthcare organizations of all types.
What can cloud the horizon is that few physicians see themselves as business entrepreneurs. Like it or not, a healthcare organization is a small (sometimes not so small) company struggling with demanding economic and social forces in healthcare. Medical practice operating expenses have increased over 60 percent in the past eight-plus years. Insurance reimbursements have trended downward and discretionary (elective care) spending is increasingly cautious.
As further frustration, the competitive landscape in healthcare is challenging, particularly for the most sought-after, best-reimbursed cases. Many small practices are facing increasing competition from group practices and hospitals which may have larger marketing budgets. What's more, younger doctors–almost by necessity–are typically more aggressive and competitive than older colleagues.
Virtually all healthcare practices and businesses need to think about growth. Most have made dramatic changes to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, and for them, the "fat" is gone. And having a solid marketing plan is not an after-though, a 'nice to have,' a rainy-day option, or a second priority.
Effective and ethical marketing is a fundamental, priority business tool to deal effectively with change and to:
You can have the most ideal healthcare enterprise on the planet, but without marketing, no one will know about it...and you really don't have a business at all. And you will not go far without a plan...if you don't know where you're going; any road will take you there.
Here's a checklist of some of common challenges in healthcare and reasons for marketing. Check all that apply:
How many of these goals, visions, challenges have been keeping you awake at night? Marketing is one of your most important and effective business tools and the foundation for handling Healthcare Reform or other agents of change.
The worst thing to do in the face of change is... nothing.