Healthcare remains a holdout in embracing innovative, affordable, and more convenient options. The industry lags in becoming a more consumer-focused industry and using the latest technology to transform the way care is delivered. The industry has operated for years with an outdated model that fails to deliver outcomes that are commensurate with costs.
However, the stage is set for a very different approach.
According to our research, within a decade, healthcare will look and feel like other consumer-oriented, technology-enabled industries. We are heading toward a New Health Economy – one in which new players embrace technology to enhance the consumer experience in new ways.
Leading the way are new players from the retail, technology, telecom, and consumer products industries. Recognizing the opportunity of the New Health Economy, these companies are developing products and services to meet growing demand.
And, yes there is demand. In a recent survey by PwC’s Health Research Institute, we learned that:
We’re already glimpsing these services and products on the horizon: a device that takes digital images of an ear canal to help determine if there is an infection goes on sale this year. Technology to help manage chronic conditions while driving is under development. And flat-fee online 24-7 evaluation and treatment services are available now. These new offerings will help drive the decentralization and democratization of healthcare.
A company’s success will depend on its ability to compete, deliver results, and focus on the customers’ needs and wants. Companies will need an understanding of third-party payment system, which isn’t part of the equation in other industries. Regulation is also a critical – and highly complex – feature of the industry that must be mastered.
So, how do both new entrants and traditional healthcare organizations navigate through this period of change?
Aim for disruptive innovation. Consumers want and will reward game-changing services and products. Now is the time to get moving and develop and test ideas quickly.
Flip the perspective. Take a consumer-to-business look using consumer data to refine business models, enhance customer experience, and earn greater loyalty.
Don’t forget about risk management. For now, the same rules apply. So, engage early with legal, regulatory, and compliance teams.
Partner: Both new entrants and traditional healthcare organizations should consider forming strategic partnerships with each other. Incumbent healthcare players offer an understanding of the complexities of the regulatory and reimbursement environments. New players bring innovation, ideas, global reach, customer insights, loyal followings and brand, and the know-how to capture a market.
Traditional healthcare organizations also should remember to:
Focus on the consumer. Everything rotates around the consumer in the new world. Review processes and see how you can provide better service—from extending operating hours, to increasing availability of practitioners through digital devices, to enhancing transparency of pricing and quality.
Determine what matters most. Decide who you are going to be going forward. Are you going to operate as a commodity and compete against continually lower-priced options? Are you going to develop new sources of revenues based on your core competencies or develop new revenue streams?
New entrants should:
Create value in new ways. Remember, the consumer wants and needs change. They are ready to take the journey with you.
Focus on quality. For healthcare, quality is table stakes. Use innovative approaches to provide better quality, such as virtual networks of experts providing second opinions.
Combining the freshness of the new with the experience of the old might just be what’s needed to shake up the industry and give birth to healthcare’s customer-centered, innovation-fueled transformation.
Chivaroli and Associates Insurance Services is a full-service brokerage firm specializing in the custom-design and placement of insurance and alternative risk funding solutions for your healthcare organization.