Today’s “Must Read” Story – Why Your Marketing Budget Will Soon be Cut

Please read Tadd Pullin’s excellent piece in “Hospital Impact.” His point: the coming (and inevitable) transformation of American healthcare will effect dramatic changes in our marketing and communication. While we should, of course, be anticipating and adjusting accordingly, many of us will be caught behind the eight ball (very soon) as belts are tightened.

At the heart of marketing success is a clear consensus on business strategy and measurable outcomes for return on investment. While healthcare organizations around the country may approach the shift to value in different ways, a few principles are key to keep in mind. For instance, corporate overhead will be reduced dramatically–including marketing budgets. Consolidation may help in the process. Mass media advertising will still happen, but will be less prevalent.”

Curious? Read more at: http://www.hospitalimpact.org/index.php/2013/02/27/making_the_marketing_shift_from_volume_t

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Danger, Will Robinson: Marketing of Surgical Robots Misleads Consumers

Once again, evidence shows clinical outcomes of robotic surgery aren’t significantly better than surgery done the old-fashioned way. Our marketing of  fancy gizmos, though, continues to drive an increased consumer demand. Rachel Zimmerman in CommonHealth:

The JAMA report notes that robotic hysterectomies took off in recent years, up from 0.5% in 2007 to 9.5% by 2010.

One driver is likely the intense marketing of surgical robots by its manufacturers. A 2011study out of Johns Hopkins found that hospitals are misleading patients about the benefits of robotic surgery and that hospital websites routinely use industry-provided content and overstate claims of robotic success.”
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Curious? Read more at: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2013/02/robotic-hysterectomy-costs-more-no-better

 

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Deplorable Public Health Threat Courtesy of Four Loko Marketers

A sweetened/flavored, soda-like malt beverage targeting young folks is shameful. To sell it in huge containers (23.5 oz) and ramp up the alcohol content is criminal. The FTC’s overdue and meager response will do nothing to slow sales. In WebMD:

The FTC had claimed that the company suggested in advertising that its 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko was equal to two beers when the cans were really equal to four or five beers, according to the AP.

“We share a common interest with the FTC in providing consumers with information and packaging options to help them make informed, responsible decisions,” company co-founder Jaisen Freeman said in a statement.

Curious? Read more at: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20130214/health-highlights-feb-14-2013

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No Need for Hospital Marketing? Comments from a Naive Reporter

I read the attached column and thought, “This is simply not to be believed. It’s truly unbelievable.” Yet, here it is. Published in an honest-to-gosh news outlet by a real columnist/former reporter– Brad Flory in MLive.com:

Judging by the number and scope of advertising campaigns, hospitals must be in fierce competition for patients, which is interesting when you remember they are charities.

All that advertising triggers a question obvious from a patient’s viewpoint: What do hospitals think they are accomplishing?

As a patient, it is not my impression I choose hospitals like banks, furniture stores or potato chip brands.

Patients go to the nearest hospital in emergency situations, regardless of marketing campaigns.

Curious? Read more at: http://blog.mlive.com/bradosphere/2013/02/hospital_marketing_blitzes_mak.html

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New HIPAA Rule Provides Clarification to Marketers

New HIPAA Rule Provides Clarification to Marketers

The release of HHS’s HIPAA Privacy and Security Omnibus “final” rule should provide welcome relief to marketers and fundraisers, as well as to consumers. I’ve never felt comfortable with condition-specific materials sent through USPS, and understand why consumers have pushed for change.
Mary Mosquera quotes Deven McGraw in Healthcare Finance News:
“It is very unnerving for people to get email or mail that indicates that someone knows what medication they are taking. Your threshold of what is sensitive to you is preserved in this rule because you have the right to opt in for communications if you want to get them,” she said.”
Curious? Read more: http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/hipaa-final-rule-alters-marketing-practices

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Communication is the Key to Patient Satisfaction

An ineffective physician gets the highest patient satisfaction scores. The reason? The physician has great communication skills. With payments tied to patient satisfaction scores, it would seem hospitals have a lot to gain from improving communication throughout the organization. From Janet Adamy’s Wall Street Journal article:

By far the majority of measures that we’re looking at really have to do with communication,” said Jean Moody-Williams, director of the quality improvement group within the agency that runs Medicare. “Those are things that are universal regardless of the state of your facility.”

Curious? http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10000872396390443890304578010264156073132-lMyQjAxMTAyMDEwNTAxODU3Wj.html

 

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Referral-Development Consultants: The New Marketing Gold Mine

With 70% of specialist referrals coming from primary care physicians, the marketing opportunities are clear. This article does a nice job of showing how the process works and where it’s taking us. Missy Sullivan in SmartMoney:

In this business, it’s all about pitching one doctor to another — often without one having seen the other in action, or face-to-face. On this morning, McKenzie is promoting two clients: a 20-doctor orthopedic group trying to fend off a nearby competitor and a solo urogynecologist who handles pelvic and bladder issues. But she knows she has only a few minutes to get through her pitch, a spiel that touches on a host of body parts, from arthritic hands and hips (“We’ve got some top surgeons”) to leaky bladders (“Do you get many older patients complaining of incontinence?”). Not an expert on medicine herself, McKenzie has brought along some show-and-tell, including a glossy flier that looks like a yearbook page for the lab-coat set, complete with 20 smiling head shots of doctors posing with diplomas or spinal vertebrae models.”

Curious? http://www.smartmoney.com/plan/health-care/the-surprising-secret-behind-doctor-referrals-1334332558571/?mod=1122

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