Hospitals Consider Consumers As They Tailor Services

Kaufman Hall’s Mark Grube urges hospitals to consider consumers as they design and tailor their services to meet the demands of the new healthcare delivery system. “Health care’s new business model seeks to ensure delivery of the right services at the right location and time and at an appropriate cost, in turn achieving the Triple Aim of lower healthcare costs and improved population health and care quality,” Mr. Grube wrote in a recent hfm article on consumerism/retail health. Mr. Grube describes consumerism in the new iProtean course, Consumerism: Strategic and Financial Implications.


The new healthcare business model has given rise to the following trends:


  • Higher out-of-pocket costs for insured individuals
  • Transparency of price and quality data, leading to actionable consumer 
  • Increased and varied competition among providers, with new entrants 
attracted by the industry’s evolving business model
  • Consumer expectations related to convenience and service consistency
  • New applications of technology and data, enabling virtual patient 
monitoring and care provision

(Source: Kaufman, Hall & Associates)


In response to these developments, hospitals and health systems should adopt a clearly defined, consumer-centric ambulatory and virtual strategy and a thoughtfully considered tactical plan for delivering care in all settings and through new modalities. This effort can help organizations create a retail playbook for maintaining or increasing relevance and market share—and building financial and clinical strength—in a changing industry. (“Preparing to Succeed in a Retail Health Environment,” hfm, November 2014)


Mr. Grube, along with Marian Jennings and Nathan Kaufman, describe the “points of retail competition” for healthcare providers. These are:

  • Convenient access: the right service at the right time and place
  • Competitive pricing: nuanced pricing strategy; not a knee-jerk “lowest price in town” reaction
  • Multichannel offering: including virtual, mobile, telemedicine, e-visits as well as traditional settings
  • Customer experience: coordinated and differentiated
  • Brand preference: based on “must have” products, services and experiences
  • Understanding the customer base: understanding different needs and expectations across customer segments
  • Product relevance: services understood by consumers and tailored to needs and preferences of the customer base


To hear more from Mr. Grube, Ms. Jennings and Mr. Kaufman on this complex and timely topic, go to your library for Part One of Consumerism: Strategic and Financial Implications. The course will be available by the end of this week.




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