Wanted: Marketers for Health Care Reform

Payor and Provider Marketing

The addition of state exchanges now providing health services, call for health insurance providers to market their services, benefits and prices to maintain existing payors and attract new ones. In addition, insurance providers will have to determine how to effectively improve services while minimizing their costs. Marketers will have a pivotal role to play in tailoring messaging to payors about individual plans, while supporting health providers with information on the unfolding components of the PPACA.

Employee Engagement

An important component of the new healthcare policy is a new emphasis on prevention. This new environment provides incentives for employers to provide healthcare for their employees, and an increase in wellness programming to help employees stay well and informed. Marketers can help by determining what health services, delivery and design of services will most likely influence enrollment, engagement and lifestyle adoption. There will also be a need for program assessment and evaluation.

New Market/Product Development

The emphasis on prevention in the plan, will call for new markets to emerge in the wellness market, one such area is acupuncture, which in 2014 could be recognized as a treatment option covered by Medicare. Innovation in payments and delivery of services, to create efficiency at reduced costs will be an ongoing need. There will be a proliferation of companies that offer medical and biotechnical solutions. These new markets and new products will require market research, assessment, communication development, marketing and evaluation.

Assessment and Analysis

The PPACA was established to grant access to healthcare for more people as well as make healthcare more cost effective. Measuring the utilization, efficiency and delivery of care will be paramount. Health practitioners will be called to work together to provide integrated care, which is expected to lead to cost savings and efficiencies. Furthermore, how treatment is designed and measured will impact outcomes in the pursuit of a healthier America.

Subject Matter Experts/Consulting

Marketers will have the opportunity to utilize their experience by working with local municipalities, state departments, hospital systems, provider payers and health providers. In addition, government agencies such as the Center of Medicare and Medicaid and the Department of Health and Human Services who are mainly responsible for the implementation of the PPACA will have a large number of marketing needs and will require support to guide and help implement the shift from being solely a service provider or payor to an assessor of value and outcomes. Imparting knowledge on how PPACA impacts businesses from small to large will be an ongoing, calling for audience-focused communication strategy and outreach. Finally, the rise of digital and technological solutions like electronic medical records will call for training and consulting resources to increase as more health providers convert to digital options.

In conclusion, this was not meant to be an exhaustive list, however, it was developed to illustrate that what you may be doing right now will be greatly needed to fulfill the PPACA requirements.