Interview with HealthLeaders Media

Last year, I was a co-author of “Physician Entrepreneurs:  Going Retail,” which is a book written by The Coker Group and published by HealthLeaders Media/HCPro, discussing new trends within healthcare where providers are adopting more retail-driven strategies in promoting their businesses and competing in a increasingly competitive marketplace.  You can see my original post about the book’s publication here

In the book’s promotions, I was interviewed recently, to discuss the book and some of the topics it covers.  You can find that interview on the HealthLeaders Media website

Overall, this is an interesting emerging trend within healthcare.  As the retail clinics are becoming more common, there seems to be a new story every day in the media about major retail chains, such as Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, etc, are implementing these clinics in their stores.  Further, the volume of patients that are using these clinics for their basic healthcare services is also steadily increasing.  With a busy flu season in 2007/2008, I predict the numbers of patients that use these clinics for their vaccines, as well as basic treatment for flu symptoms, will be considerably higher. 

As a result of these trends in the marketplace, healthcare providers – doctors, practices, hospitals, etc – are being forced to adopt strategies that will help them remain competitive in this market.  When you’re a family physician or internal medicine doctor that is losing business daily to your patients going to Wal-Mart to get antibiotics and other basic services, because it is easier and cost efficient for them to do so, you will eventually have to revise your strategies, otherwise you will quickly be out of business.  The healthcare market is no longer friendly to the doctors, because they are finding themselves competing in a retail environment, which they have never had to do before, while also experiencing declining reimbursement rates, etc. 

Another key factor related to these trends is the fact that retail-based healthcare services are becoming a market-driven answer to the growing number of uninsured patients.  For families or individuals that do not have insurance, for whatever reason, it is much more cost-efficient to receive basic healthcare services from the nurse practitioner working out of the local Walgreens, than it would be if you had to schedule an appointment with a traditional physician practice and pay out of pocket for those services.  The average costs for services in these retail clinics are considerably lower than what the out of pocket costs would be in a traditional practice setting.

These are things that physicians, practices and health systems must consider if they want to compete in this volatile marketplace and that is what this book addresses.  For instance, these practices must adopt more retail-driven marketing strategies that will attract new patients and maintain/build market share that will allow them to increase their volume.  Further, practices must explore new market opportunities and penatrating different market landscapes, which can take place through a variety of venture strategies.  They must also adopt financial strategies that will allow them to introduce flexible costs into their market, because for many patients, it is a matter of dollars and cents.  In addition, they will have to adopt efficiencies in their operations, which will allow them to reduce costs for consumers while maintaining a profitable margin.  This can include the adoption of more efficient technologies and information systems.  Finally, they must enhance the patient experience, in order to retain their patients, and in doing so, many practices are being forced to address the quality of care that they provide.  All of these things can be detrimental to a healthcare provider’s success, especially as the marketplace is becoming more and more competitive. 

Click here to learn more about the book and click here to listen to the interview. 


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  1. By Interview with HealthLeaders Media on April 1, 2008 at 5:17 pm

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