Strategic Issues/Trends

Hospitals Face Steep Competition From Freestanding Outpatient Centers

by Patricia Chaney With reimbursement cuts, increasingly price-sensitive consumers and payers, and the development of accountable care organizations, independent outpatient facilities stand to take market share from hospitals. Outpatient imaging and ambulatory surgery centers pose steep competition for hospitals in certain markets, but with all providers struggling to balance reimbursements and payer negotiations, there’s more Read More

Market for Bariatric Services Grows as Patient BMIs Increase

Cheryl Haas

by Cheryl Haas Whether the cause is super-sized portions, pedestrian-unfriendly suburbs, or too many hours in front of the computer (or some combination of the above), Americans are becoming bigger at an alarming rate. The growing numbers of morbidly obese adults and children are fueling an increase in weight-loss surgery and medical weight-loss management services Read More

Gearing Up for Population Health: Lessons Learned from Public Health

Susan Dubuque

// By Susan Dubuque // Last year, Strategic Health Care Marketing published a series of three articles on Racing to Wellness. This year, we will delve further into the evolution of our profession in a rapidly changing environment. As we move away from conventional promotions intended to drive volumes, we will explore the reinvention of Read More

Does Employee Engagement Matter?

by Cynthia King, PhD, and Daniel King, MS No longer is it enough to have satisfied employees who just want to “get by.” Instead, it is essential that hospitals and health systems cultivate a working environment that promotes and sustains highly engaged employees who are loyal to their organization. Highly engaged individuals are not only Read More

Supermarket Chain Offers Infusion Services

Nancy Vessell profile pic

by Nancy Vessell When a Midwest supermarket chain began offering chemotherapy and other infusion services, a few heads were turned. “When I first learned about it, it did catch me by surprise. To my knowledge, I haven’t heard about other grocery chains getting into this [medical area],” says Michael Abrams, managing partner of Numerof & Read More

Cultural Sensitivity Attracts Ethnic Populations and Enhances Brand

Cheryl Haas

by Cheryl Haas In American culture, we joke about superstition but we hedge our bets: We don’t walk under a ladder, don’t let a black cat cross our collective path, and don’t include a 13th floor on high-rise buildings. But in a hospital setting, we often unwittingly expose people from other cultures to elements that Read More

Communication and Co-Leadership Key to Physician Engagement

Sheryl S. Jackson

by Sheryl S. Jackson Everyone agrees that in today’s health care environment physician engagement is critical to the success of collaborative care models as well as the successful retention of physicians. But how does a health care leader define, identify, and quantify physician engagement? What is physician engagement? “There is a lot of talk about Read More

The Importance of Addressing Culture When Merging Different Entities

Sheryl Jackson

by Sheryl S. Jackson Keep Focus on Patient-Centric Care and Take Time to Engage Everyone in the Process Increasing financial and competitive pressures within the health care industry have spurred hospital acquisition of other health care providers – physician practices, urgent care centers, and imaging centers. While the reasons for acquiring other entities varies from Read More

Digging Deep to Learn the ‘Why’ of Leakage

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by Nancy Vessell The key to spotting and stemming leakage of physician referrals at Texas Health Resources (THR) doesn’t hinge on expensive data collection. Certainly, data showing where patients are going in the large north Texas market is helpful to this health system of 25 hospitals and 5,500 affiliated physicians. But the data only serves Read More

Six Key Digital Roles Needed in Today’s Marketing Department

by Derek Mabie The online realm is heavily integrated with everyone’s daily life. Society now relies on search engines and web­site functionality to add convenience, control, and precision to completing tasks – whether paying a bill or researching a brand. Today, consumers are searching online before making health-related decisions. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, May 2014

Brands still struggle with Twitter as a marketing tool According to a survey conducted in March by Social Media Marketing University, 45 percent of brands re­port that measuring results and ascertaining an ROI is the biggest challenge when using Twitter for marketing. Other significant challenges are building an audience (42 percent), engagement (37 percent), learning Read More

Physician Onboarding: Four Steps in One Process

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by Nancy Vessell With 40 to 60 new physicians arriving every year to serve an eight-hospital system and its medical group, where 40 people are involved in physician recruitment, onboarding, orientation, and retention, the opportunity for “dropped balls” measures in the tons. That’s according to Jim Zache, vice president of physician recruiting and physician relations Read More

What Happens to Marketing When the Boundaries Between a Medical Institution and an Insurer Blur?

by Peter Hochstein Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more hospitals may begin offering health insurance, while insurance com­panies may increasingly supply some limited health care services. True, a few organizations, perhaps most notably Kaiser Permanente, have explicitly and extensively offered both health care and health insurance for years. And some health plans offer their Read More

For This Virginia Hospital, Safety Is on the Daily Agenda

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by Nancy Vessell If the marketing director of the 445-bed Winchester (VA) Medical Center needs to track down the hospital’s busy medical directors, he knows where he can find them between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day. It’s a sure bet they will be in the Daily Safety Call. So ingrained is this daily Read More

Centralized Marketing: Building an Effective Structure

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by Nancy Vessell Marketing functions within hospital systems have run the spectrum from fully centralized at the corporate level to mostly autonomous at the local level. But as more hospitals fold themselves into systems, marketing is increasingly shifting toward centralization. “A lot of it is being driven by this crazy world of mergers and acquisitions,” Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, February 2014

Next CEOs may come from outside the industry According to a survey conducted for executive search firm Ferguson Partners, health care executives who were asked to name the top three outside industries likely to produce tomorrow’s health system leaders chose finance, (92 percent), hospitality (55 percent), investment (40 percent), and pharmaceutical (33 percent). Manufacturing, information Read More

The Health Care World Series

Ritch K. Eich, PhD

by Ritch K. Eich, PhD In the game of professional baseball there are two levels of contest and two levels of play: the World Series and everything else. This model translates now and again to organizational management – though hardly as often as business authors would like us to believe – and under extreme circumstances Read More

Are You Prepared for the Next Generation of Service Lines?

by Cecily Lohmar The last decade has seen con­siderable growth in health care service lines, most often with the objective of expanding the more profitable services. At the same time, there have been numerous market changes – with more to come. Service lines have been an effective model for im­proving quality and cost in the Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, December 2013

Survey: Cost transparency major factor in provider and plan choice A survey of insured health care consumers released last month by TransUnion, a credit information and information management services company, reveals that 55 percent of consumers have started paying more attention to the details of their medi­cal bills during the past year. Two-thirds (67 percent) Read More

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

Sheryl S. Jackson

Price and Quality Transparency to Gain Importance in Coming Years by Sheryl S. Jackson For 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 Read More

Dignity Health Rebrands: Say Hello to Human Kindness

by Jane Weber Brubaker A helicopter hovers over a concrete embankment, flood­waters rising rapidly around the target of the rescue operation, a black lab, alone and struggling to keep his head above water. “Does everyone matter?” asks the TV commercial. The chopper drops a line and a rescue worker lifts the dog to safety. “Yes” Read More

Big Data, Little Information?

by Joyce Miller, Jaren Wilson, and Beverly Schulman In recent years, the volume and variety of health care data has grown exponen­tially to the point that the term “big data” has be­come part of our vocabu­lary. Big data refers to data sets so large and complex that they are difficult to process. In short, big Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, October 2013

Wide disparities in access and quality by state Access to affordable health care and the quality of care provided vary greatly for low-income people ($47,000 a year for a family of four) based on the state in which they live, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund. Geographic differences also extend to people Read More