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Monday, April 30, 2012

Changes to health care spending

Observation:   Over the weekend, a story from the New York Times explained that health care spending is down… and more dramatically that the economic effects of the recession can be blamed for.  The article strives to explore a number of possible reasons for the decline; read the story by clicking here.

Implications:   If you sell any product or service that is related to health care, this issue impacts you.  We can anticipate that if the number of patients who are spending has declined—or the amounts they are spending have declined—the field of providers that are competing for those patients and dollars is going to be more heated.

So how can health care providers—and health care marketing—effectively capture their unfair share of patients?  Absolutely.  Start by looking at the product or service from the consumer’s (patient’s) point of view.  Follow the money trail, from consideration to admissions to pre-op to discharge.  As a story from NBC Nightly News suggested over the weekend, you might even look at the ceilings of a hospital room, to see what the patients see as they’re lying in bed!  (Click here to link to that video, or watch it in the viewer below.) 

The patient, above all, wants a successful outcome.  But on that journey, they’d also appreciate some empathy, responsiveness and authentic concern from the physician and support staff.  If you can deliver that experience, and explain your unique selling proposition in advertising (on-air, in-print, online), you’ll likely fare better than other providers who are competing for those same patient dollars.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

NBC News footage:

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