Digital Marketing Is the New House Call — and it’s a Prescription to Cure Hospital Revenue Losses

Digital Marketing Is the New House Call -- and it's a Prescription to Cure Hospital Revenue LossesHealthcare is rapidly changing. Not just the insurance aspects — which are complex enough — but also the ways in which doctors and hospitals interact with patients.

In many ways, a vision of the future is fast taking shape. House calls via Skype. Mobile health monitoring devices. Even Google plays a part. But there’s even more.

As columnist Ashley Rodriguez asks in a timely AdAge story, “Could digital marketing help cure the health-care industry?”

“Before the recession, nonprofit hospitals were posting revenue growth of 7 percent or more, but that slid to 3.9 percent last year, the smallest increase during the 23 years Moody’s Investors Service has collected the data,” Rodriguez writes. “Hospitals brought in an average of $11,299 in net revenue per adjusted patient admission in 2012, up 7.6 percent from $10,497 the previous year, according to the American Hospital Association.”

But there’s trouble on the horizon.

“Admissions are falling as higher insurance rates prompt patients to seek more affordable care outside of hospitals and crimp the demand for elective procedures,” she notes. “That’s left hospitals, clinicals and medical centers — which Kantar Media said spent about $1.8 billion on U.S. measured media last year — scrambling for ways to attract revenue-generating patients while also controlling spending.”

Many are turning to search, mobile, and social for cost-effective marketing that reaches the growing number of consumers who look online for health-care information.

“The consumer-to-patient journey is largely a digital journey at their moment of need,” said John Weston, CMO at Mayo Clinic. “If I were diagnosed with something tomorrow, one of the first things I would do is go online.”

Rodriguez offers an array of suggestions and insights for making the most of mobile, social, and the Internet at large for healthcare marketing. To check out the full report, click here.

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