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January 3, 2019
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David W. Johnson
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Consumerism Outcomes
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#1 Strategy All Successful Healthcare Organizations Should Know

American healthcare companies have a blind spot that will disrupt the growth of their organizations.

The old way of American healthcare business has always been a payment battle between large health insurers and health systems. Let’s call these participants “indumbents.”

Indumbents treat patients as an afterthought and they increase revenue through price-fixing, rather than delivering real value to consumers.

This has never failed indumbent healthcare companies—until now.

To stay competitive in the global market, American healthcare companies need to deliver real value to consumers with transparent pricing and greater customer care. New healthcare companies are emerging that place consumer experiences at the forefront of their business model and American consumers are buying. Indumbent companies must adapt or they will die.

The Problem

The healthcare process isn’t optimized to improve care between the physician and the patient. Physicians spend more time documenting treatments for billing purposes to send to third-party insurers than they spend providing quality care. Customers lack access to transparent price quotes across multiple organizations as providers are afraid of setting precedents on procedures in fear of leaving money on the table for future transactions.

Consumers feel conned and physicians are burnt out. All to ensure healthcare companies “get paid.” Healthcare companies need to provide better care.

If not for the sake of ethics, then how about for the sake of their bottom line? Health companies that fail to provide transparent prices and improve inefficient systems will lose relevance in the marketplace. To avoid failure, health organizations need to create real value to generate demand for their company rather than fix prices.

Take a look at healthcare startup, Best-in-Class Care. Their platform enables consumers to shop for healthcare services in an “Expedia-like” fashion. They can search for specific healthcare procedures, read second opinions and schedule consulting calls to get their questions answered. Quality providers present their prices up front and customer support to available to assist them throughout the buying process. Customers are happy and business is growing.

The Solution

For healthcare organizations to stay relevant, they must shift their thinking from the old way to the new way of doing business in healthcare. Take a look at this chart. 

Instead of focusing on just getting paid, robust and profitable healthcare companies will focus on creating value for consumers. Successful healthcare companies will become efficient and profitable by calculating fixed revenues based off specific expenses, instead of inflating their revenues by hiding costs from consumers. American consumers are demanding better quality care and the organizations that provide this will win. 

It’s time for indumbent healthcare organizations to choose: will they survive this disruption or not? Will they follow in the footsteps of Kodak and Blockbuster who became obsolete because they failed to listen to their customers and adapt to the marketplace? Healthcare organizations have the opportunity to thrive by creating real value. In the end, customers count and value rules. Organizations that provide quality care will win.

To read more on this topic, click here to read the original 4sight Health Market Corner Commentary.

About the Author

David W. Johnson

David Johnson is the CEO of 4sight Health, an advisory company working at the intersection of healthcare strategy, economics, innovation. Johnson is a healthcare thought leader, keynote speaker, and strategic advisor to organizations busting the status-quo to reform our healthcare system. He is the author of Market vs. Medicine: America’s Epic Fight for Better, Affordable Healthcare, and his second book, The Customer Revolution in Healthcare: Delivering Kinder, Smarter, Affordable Care for All (McGraw-Hill 2019). As a speaker, Dave plays the role of rebel, challenger, industry historian, investor and company evaluator to push audiences forward. (Watch bio video.) Johnson applies his 25+ years of investment banking in healthcare to identify ways the healthcare industry must change to deliver better care. He received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, an English degree from Colgate University, and served in the African Peace Corp service. Join over 10k+ healthcare executives who read our weekly insights and commentary on www.4sighthealth.com. His third book, Less Healthcare, More Health: The Prescription for a Happier, More Equitable and Productive America, will publish in 2024.

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