Focus on Consumer Needs, Not Provider Needs to Survive Health Care Transformation

December 1, 2013

Price and Quality Transparency to Gain Importance in Coming Years

by Sheryl S. Jackson

Sheryl S. JacksonFor almost seven years, the television show “Marcus Welby, MD,” featured a veteran general practitioner who fo­cused on patients as people in an era when specialized medicine and tech­nology were growing in importance. Many storylines had Dr. Welby listening to patients as opposed to rely­ing on test results to uncover the underlying cause of an illness.

Thirty-seven years later, the health care industry is un­dergoing another transformation – one that requires a return to consumer-focused health care by health pro­viders that are accessible and transparent about costs and quality. While these changes are creating account­able care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, as well as health systems instead of stand-alone hospitals, the transformation is about more than re­vised organizational charts and acquisitions or mergers. The cultural changes required to refocus physicians, administrators, and employees affect all areas of the health care industry, including marketing staffs.

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