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Marketing challenges in the health care industry

Assignment #1.
Discuss marketing challenges in the health care industry, and comment upon their level of importance. Specifically, please respond to the following questions in a 3 page scholarly paper. Please give all the references.

1. Why is it difficult for marketing concepts and strategies that are commonly used in other industries to "penetrate" the healthcare industry?

2. In your opinion, has marketing been truly accepted as a necessity for health care organizations yet, or is it still regarded as a luxury?

Assignment #2
Write a 3-4 page paper about a health care organization with which you are involved, or are familiar. Specifically, your tasks are to select an organization and describe it. Then, discuss the main challenges in marketing that organization.

Suggestions: Be sure to gather as much information as you can about marketing within your selected organization as early as possible in the session. The tasks of subsequent components of the SLP require information gathered for the first Module.

Assignment #3.
In 1 or 2 paragraphs, explain what are some of the reasons why people who work at nonprofit organizations might feel uneasy about marketing?

Why is it important for them to adopt a marketing approach?

Solution Preview

Assignment #1.
Why is it difficult for marketing concepts and strategies that are commonly used in other industries to "penetrate" the healthcare industry?

Consumers are becoming savvier when looking up services in clinics and hospitals. Distance from healthcare service is not an issue anymore because of better transportation. Patients are more willing to go to a large, university based hospital to seek what they feel may be better care. Specialized care such as cancer centers are more predominant in television ads and serve patients with leading edge technology.

Websites are now available to give information about compliance records for any healthcare organization. Gathering and reporting compliance data is required for credentialing and must be put on the Internet. If a local hospital has a low score in one area, this may affect the patient's choice of care. This can be devastating for rural care where all other variables are within the standard of care except for one. The Internet is a conduit for many healthcare issues in marketing. It is not uncommon to look up a disease or health problem on the Internet and feel this must be true because of the origin. This is very dangerous because not all sites are considered reliable.

Healthcare systems can be competitive with each other. This type of behavior may have a negative effect on employees who work close to each other or may even work both systems. Knowing that the Internet is a widely used service for searching out hospital ratings could influence how data is collected. Employees are often taught to use the words they may see on the satisfaction survey so they will have a positive rating. This is a tactic widely used so patients will believe they are seeing this for the first time but just remembering what needs to be checked. This competitive spirit can be felt inside of the community and may influence who gets patients if the system is using negative tactics. The comments are such as "the big hospital down the street thinks they are better than us". Every institution must keep a level of care that is regulated by governing bodies. This care must be up to the standards noted for type of services. To be able to afford large signs and television ads often makes smaller facilities look incapable just because they cannot afford this level of showing this publicly.

From a positive perspective, consumers are now able to do more investigations of care facilities to seek a better experience. When looking at satisfaction reports, it is hard to refute a high rating as being a fluke. Obviously, this institution is doing something right to gain the respect of their consumers. Without having a more "in your face" advertising, some perspective clients may never know about services that are in their own community. Do you know if your community offers sleep studies, a pain clinic or physical therapy? The answers are on the Internet and for those who do not use the Web, friends and family can help search out services that are recommended by a reliable source. WebMD® has offered many answers and can direct a patient to sites that have been investigated for dependability.

When talking with clients, it is first important to suggest that everything you read and see is not necessarily true. Reliable information must be based on sources known for their track record such as the American Heart Association (AHA). The database information gathered for records on The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has been checked for validity. Reporting false information is against the law and can be detrimental to that facility. When patients are asking about advertising the sites recommended by these agencies may be the best for reliable sources.

In your opinion, has marketing been truly accepted as a necessity for health care organizations yet, or is it still regarded as a luxury?

It is very hard to deny there is deception in advertising in healthcare when there are so many false claims made to insurance companies. Somewhere along the line, some healthcare provider had to convince a patient they needed a test or procedure that was not necessary for their long term health. Healthcare is spending a great deal of money of advertising as can be attested by the fancy billboards and expensive television advertisements but what does this accomplish. Most of the time someone must pay for this and it is the consumer of health care. Another deception that is not often regarded is the experience caller at the other end of the phone who is doling out the privilege for a patient to see a specialist when they have no medical education (

There is so much information on deception that it is hard to find anything good ...

Solution Summary

The marketing challenges in the health care industry are determined. Why is is difficult for marketing concepts and strategies is determined.