Healthcare as we’ve known it in the past has operated on a system where providers and payers have focused on pushing products and services quickly. The name of the game was volume. But in an increasingly consumer-driven landscape, the game is shifting toward value as its priority as healthcare morphs into a market-like ecosystem. Today’s healthcare consumer is savvy, educated, and calling the shots.
In order to keep their share in the market, healthcare brands need to adapt from the inside out. It’s time to craft new, innovative business models that cater to the drastic changes that consumerism demands.
The Tenants of Value-Based Care
With value-based payments replacing the standard fee-for-service model, the healthcare ecosystem will become more of a marketplace. Over the course of the next decade and beyond, we’ll see healthcare shift to a sort of retail model, which will give way to the types of characteristics that we see in today’s retail environment.
Consumers are holding more of the weight of their own care on their shoulders. To facilitate the self-education process, healthcare brands will need to be more transparent in all facets of business, including costs, processes, services, and quality. The goal is to equip consumers with the information they need to shop around, make objective comparisons, and ultimately come to the best decision regarding their particular needs.
You’ll see big name retailers and drug chains offering in-store clinics with longer opening hours, lower fees, basic diagnostic test access, and greater overall convenience. Other healthcare systems are offering off-site options like telehealth and mHealth. Various types of tech innovations like wearables and health apps are integrating information access with ease-of-use to give consumers full functionality at their fingertips.
Today’s consumer has a strong voice, and she needs to know that she’s heard. In addition to healthcare brands leading their customers through the care process, social media and online communities like PatientsLikeMe are popping up to weave support networks, share research, and encourage participation in important health discussions.
Trading Revenue for Value?
For many healthcare brands, value-based business models will indeed result in cuts to short-term revenue. For example, a hospital system will pay more upfront to incorporate mental health care into its primary care practices, and a health app will invest more money in hardware to meet the need for comprehensive information-storage databases.
However, the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term losses. The sooner brands can meet the inevitable switch to value-based care, the more viable they’ll be against competition and the more sustainable they’ll be in the long run. They’ll experience greater financial stability, advanced information systems, and a strong reputation among consumers and stakeholders.
Is your business model prepared for healthcare consumerism, or will you be left in the dust? Reach out to us at 407-532-0604 to discuss your brand and how it can be better suited for the new era of consumer-driven healthcare.