Healthcare organizations are increasingly operating under new financial incentives focused on accountable and patient centered care. Reimbursement is shifting to include pay-for-performance and gains sharing based on quality, outcomes, costs and other metrics that reward high-performing providers and penalize others. To succeed under these new incentives, organizations must achieve dramatic change – including changes to provider practices and patient health behaviors. The latter, changes in patient health behavior, is where your marketing plan must be decisive. Is your healthcare organization ready?
Your marketing plan is an essential tool in meeting new performance targets. Here is why. It is clear that the momentum of healthcare reform, new care delivery models, and new technologies will not be reversed. Central components of this new accountable, patient centered environment are permanent and include the following:
- Accountability for processes and behaviors – provider and patient
- Cost containment – episode, per-member, traditional unit costs
- Quality outcomes
- Risk and safety improvement
- Health outcomes
Overall, the emphasis is value – measurable processes and outcomes achieved concurrent with lower costs1. In addition, rewards are connected to the “patient experience”, formerly patient satisfaction. The subtle terminology shift reflects a new focus on processes that affect the patient as well as their engagement in and perceptions of these processes. In this new environment, the marketing plan shifts from a retail focus to customer engagement where the system is attempting to influence the customer’s health behavior. Such behaviors may include the following:
- Patient emergency room use
- Pharmacy compliance
- Care plan adherence, which influence Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures
- Shared decision making to contain preference-sensitive utilization2
Activating patient participation in their care becomes a critical focus for marketing. An organization must become more effective at connecting, interacting with, and engaging patients. Segmenting patients through use of Patient Activation Measure (PAM) or similar tools is essential. Use of such measures enables essential “predictive modeling” needed for high-risk, high-cost patient case finding and care management, but also for targeted marketing. An effective marketing plan accounts for the new technologies utilized by customers who are more tech savvy than ever before. Strategies such as “gamification” – the use of game attributes to drive game-like player behavior in a non-game context3 and mobile application technology — are enabling patients to take control of their health behaviors in ways not possible through more passive approaches.
Whether incentives focus on provider quality measures, reduced readmissions, decreases in out-of-network primary care visits, lower costs for acute episodes of care, or others, one thing is clear. There is a need for marketing systems and approaches to achieve the new accountable care goals.
Is your marketing plan engaging your patients through specific calls to action linked to needed performance outcomes? Using marketing to achieve the customer behavior-reliant performance improvement is not easy – particularly given an absence of robust marketing systems and analysis required for this undertaking. A traditional marketing plan usually delivers on brand awareness and promotion of “retail” services. Even here, however, organizations struggle to adapt to new customer preferences.
Discovering what is truly of value to beneficiaries, unlocking existing databases for a healthcare equivalent of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), adapting to segmented markets that favor specific channels of communication, and utilizing new technologies to enhance the patient experience are all key attributes of an effective marketing plan. The customer experience – both patient and staff – are essential for preventing disengagement – a fatal problem for accountable, patient centered performance improvement.
If you want to explore your healthcare marketing plan further, Romanyk Consulting is eager to help. We have provided detailed patient centered marketing and communication planning as well as overall strategic plans and operational and organizational assessments. If you would like to know more about solutions offered by Romanyk Consulting Corp., please contact us or visit us online at www.romanykconsulting.com.
- 1 College of American Pathologists – Accountable Care Toolkit, 2011.
- 2 The Trustees of Dartmouth College – Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, 2012
- 3 Michael Wu, Ph. D. – What is Gamification, Really?, 2011
A New Romanyk Consulting Corp. Staff Addition
Romanyk Consulting Corp. Welcomes Jim Vogel to the Team
At Romanyk Consulting Corp., we seek to provide fresh perspective and capabilities to your organization through seasoned professionals who roll up their sleeves and work alongside you to help achieve your goals. To that end, we are continually expanding our team’s capabilities. This is why we are excited to have Jim Vogel join the team.
Jim brings valuable health care management consulting experience. For nearly 20 years, he has led healthcare financial planning, product management, technology, and business management consulting teams at organizations across the United States. These include hospitals and health systems, health plans, risk-bearing provider organizations, government agencies, pharmaceuticals, health technology companies, and disease management organizations. His capabilities include strong experience in the development of insurance programs, strategic plans, financial feasibility studies, clinical service lines, and medical management systems. Jim’s experience and strengths allow him to bring the following to our clients:
- Stakeholder Facilitation
- Capital Program Planning
- Financial Feasibility Analysis
- Strategic Scenario Planning
- Clinical Service Line and Business Planning
- Market Research and Segmentation
- Physician-Hospital Integration
- Mergers and Acquisitions
An effective communicator and change management expert, Jim Vogel brings new perspective – and results – to our clients. Our team proudly stands behind our collaborative client approach, and we look forward to introducing Jim to you as he joins the Romanyk Consulting Corp. team.