Today‚Äôs Disruptors in Healthcare 

It continues to be no secret that the healthcare landscape continues to change — and that change won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Competition in health care is nothing new. Instead, it’s the kind of competition that is evolving — the technology giants and venture capitalists going into the scene — the mega-mergers and the independent providers seeking to disrupt legacy organizations. The center business model is shifting. Primary care providers are seeing a drop as high as 15 to 20 percent in patients because patients are choosing not to have a primary care provider. The overall theme which seems to ring true is one of tumultuous health care. For health care techniques and systems to survive, they will need to find out where they fit into the world of fragmented healthcare; the way to scale offerings, be efficient, dominate and deliver a customer experience. And this starts with a strong brand. There are five disruptors we’re seeing in healthcare now.

Value-based maintenance is a shift from fee-based care to one that is focused on health effects. Think outputs, not inputs. It is no longer about quantity and the number of folks we can get through the doorways in a day, but rather improved patient health and health outcomes. Providers are being incentivized on patient results. The Chief Strategy Officer at Spectrum Health said it best,”You’re going to see a health system that’s centered on human wellbeing and aspirational alive versus one concentrated on distress and distress.” So let us have a moment to talk about another disruptor tied to all of this and that’s Payment Reform. CMS is requiring more transparency in pricing with online posting of costs for hospital procedures and stays. We will see alternate payment models, bundled obligations, and more payer consolidation. As high-deductible plans continue to climb and insurance companies and healthcare systems negotiate, what will the future hold for individuals?

Mergers are up nearly 15 percent from last year. Did you understand that over 60 percent of community hospitals belong to a health program? One-third of the practices stay independent. Why are providers linking different systems or departing? Providers have been frustrated with the quantity of time they’re spending from the EHRs and behind their desks, instead of in front of patients. Some reports show that physicians are losing an average of $50,000 a year in busywork.

Our second disruptor is an interesting one — venture capitalists with heavy pockets appearing to re-energize health care with technology, innovations, increased market share, along with the greatest customer experience. They’re about individual access and convenience.

Think pharmacy practices, merchant minute practices, Amazon — helping to make more accessible. These retail clinics came about partly due to the Affordable Care Act, but more notably, the empowerment of individuals that demand more freedom and choices for their care. Traditional healthcare classes lost touch with what their patients wanted, another business and industry businesses were researching consumer behaviors and collecting consumer information to use in advertising.

Healthcare has undergone the challenges in patient consumerism and its effect on healthcare. Some research shows that patients have to wait for 23 to 24 days to get an appointment with a new main care provider. Technology continues to burst. Offering online scheduling is no longer regarded as a technology improvement but a must. A growing number of patients want their providers to use and provide wellness and health wearables. Patients want to be able to share their health and health information.

So as we consider these disruptors, what can health care marketers do differently? We need to be able to tell our story well in the context of what patients want. We need to tell the way we can assist, not”market”. We need to always think about the patient first, not the process. We will need to be empathetic. We will need to revisit our brands. Inform our brands. Do our market research and evolve, just as patients are evolving.

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