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December 9, 2021
David W. Johnson
Consumerism Outcomes
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Blending Retailing and Healthcare Delivery: The Holiday Show and Song

Fusion is the art of blending two things together to create a single entity. Examples of fusion are everywhere: Tiffany lamps, safari suits, Chinese hip hop and cannabis Gummies. There’s even a restaurant near our Lakeview home in Chicago called Sushi Burrito. We haven’t tried it.

Dedicated 4sighters know that once a month we parody a popular song that proselytizes for value-based care. John Zam, the piano man and 4sight Health troubadour, uses his considerable talents to make these parodies melodious. Our songs aren’t subtle. Greatest hits include “Obamacare is Here to Stay,” “Churn Baby Churn, Revenue Cycle” and “My Digital Front Door.”

During a team huddle last month, Keith Hollihan (our Storyteller in Chief) suggested that we parody a holiday song for our December offering. What a great idea! Fusion thinking in action! We batted around some concepts and settled on, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Value.” You can watch and listen to John Zam perform this season’s new holiday favorite here.

Even better, you can join us for our second annual virtual holiday party on December 15th at 7PM CST. This year’s piano bar will include two notable new features. Chicago’s own Dave Burda will serve as MC. John Zam will also perform perform a mix of oldies, holiday songs, and healthcare parodies. There are even rumors of a medley. Email your song requests to info@4sighthealth.com. Register for our holiday party and piano bar here.

Fusion is a powerful force in science (nuclear fusion) and design (the Apple Store). The fusion of science and design is driving healthcare consumerism. The blending of retail concepts into healthcare delivery creates transformative care models that emphasize convenient, affordability and customer-friendly service.

Examples of retailing healthcare are everywhere: urgent care centers at malls, Walmart clinics, tech-based specialty care providers (like Roman) and big omnichannel offerings (like Amazon Care). These fusion business models employ well-honed retail strategies to solve real-life healthcare problems with great customer service. 

Retail healthcare platforms understand that they are competing in high-volume, low-margin businesses. They use focus groups, Net Promoter Scores and targeted messaging to get and win customers. This is how Amazon Care describes its service offerings:

Healthcare made easy

Skip the waiting room and start a virtual primary or urgent care visit from the comfort of your home.

This is a powerful value proposition backed up by Amazon’s strong brand and reputation for superior execution. Given the sorry state of healthcare consumerism, is it any wonder that three times as much venture investment ($30 billion versus $10 billion) is funding health-tech companies in 2021 than just two years ago in 2019.

This fusion of retailing and healthcare provision shaped my effort to create zippy lyrics for “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Value.” The last verse captures the value-based mindset that retail healthcare companies employ to attract customers:

It’s beginning to look a lot like Value
Clear prices are the rule
And the savviest sights to see are outcomes that will be
Smart and kinder too.

Make no mistake. Retail healthcare is a major disruptive threat to traditional healthcare business models. Incumbent payers and providers need to get on board or get out of the way.

At the same time, that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun celebrating the value retailing creates for burdened healthcare consumers. And what better time to do that than in the middle of the holiday shopping season. In that spirit, enjoy the 4sight Health holiday song and join us for our virtual piano bar. You supply the eggnog. We’ll supply the music.

Happy holidays to all and to all great healthcare value!

Read all dispatches from Dave Johnson here.

Check out all the 4sight Health songs here.

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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