Thought-Provoking Questions for Medical Practice Marketing in Disturbing Economic Times

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

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Gandolf’s Marketing Magic

There’s another timely and thought-provoking post by Stewart over at his blog, Gandolf’s Marketing Magic, titled The First Step To Dealing With Our “New Normal” Is Acceptance.

Drawing on several authoritative sources—including candid insight from his personal and business experience—the portrait of the nation’s economic “New Normal” is, at best, troubling. It’s also likely to continue to be dynamic, and something of an elusive moving target where “constants” are hard to find.

There’s really no doubt that our economic system is changing—both domestically and internationally—and it hasn’t been much of an up swing. What’s more, the economy, health care reform, political influences, payor policies, Medicare adjustments, unemployment and many other forces are reshaping the way consumers purchase medical services and how providers and healthcare delivery responds.

Public voices wrestle with the semantics (old recession, new recession, double-dip recession, etc.), but the important question for healthcare providers isn’t what to label the condition. The question is: What do tough economic times mean to doctors, surgeons, hospitals, clinics, and for that matter, patients? Some of the issues that we encounter include:

  • Revenue stream: It’s less predictable…except that it’s not increasing.
  • Expenses and Overhead: Up, of course, like everything else…except revenue.
  • Point of Care: Many physicians are gravitating to hospital employment.
  • Consolidation: Formerly solo providers are circling the wagons into group medical practices.
  • Competitive Landscape: There are fewer professional referral sources and more competition for what’s left.
  • Delayed Care: Patients are deferring medical care, both elective and non-elective.
  • Value Demands: Cash-constrained consumers/patients expect greater value and/or lower prices in weighing their healthcare options.

In his thought leadership post, Stewart challenges medical providers and healthcare professionals to firmly grasp this redefined reality and focus on the consequences of change. More importantly, you have the choice of proactively engaging the “New Normal” and using it for your benefit. The only alternative is to do nothing and allow conditions to work against you.

Click through here to Stewart Gandolf’s post: The First Step To Dealing With Our “New Normal” Is Acceptance. And you’ll find a related article here about building for the long haul and gaining market share after the economic storm. Change is certain, and certain to continue. The critical question is how to chart the proper course through the gale of economic headwinds.

How are you handling the storm? We welcome your perspective and comments.

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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