The Affordable Care Act is changing consumer attitudes about health care. As noted in our previous post, consumers are taking a closer look at what they’re getting for their healthcare dollars and demanding greater value. And the attitude adjustment isn’t just affecting people who purchase their own medical insurance. As more employers shift a greater share of the burden of choosing and paying for medical care onto their employees’ shoulders, the change in consumer expectations is becoming universal.
The application of a retail mentality to health care will require medical practices to pay closer attention to brand building. With consumers demanding greater cost transparency, the risk is that price will become the main driver of the healthcare market. While cost often plays a role in consumer medical decisions, quality medical care is about much more than dollars and cents.
Medical practices have already been hurt by decreasing compensation from insurers and Medicare/Medicaid. To thrive, medical practices will need to find ways to make current and prospective patients aware of the added value they offer, while differentiating themselves from other practitioners. It’s a challenge in brand building that, while an integral part of the business model of hospitals, health insurers and other major players in the healthcare field, may be relatively new to many individual healthcare professionals and local medical practices.
While you have to deliver on your promises, brand building is about humanizing your practice and creating an emotional tie to your patients. MedConnectUSA’s live operator medical answering, securing messaging and disaster recovery services can help you create a brand that attracts patients. We’ll talk about that next time.