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05. How To Market Value-Based Care To Patients

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We know that making the leap from a “fee for service” structure to a value-based payment structure can seem daunting (or…like a nightmare). Take a deep breath. Vera Fischer, President of 97 Degrees West, frequently guides marketers through the transition. Below, she answers a few questions marketers have about making the shift.


What’s one of the key factors to communicating the importance of value-based care to patients?

It’s all about patient education. Before, healthcare marketers would say: “chose our hospital; chose our doctor.” But now, the tone is becoming more educational and informational because patients are realizing they have choices.

Your service value is tied to successful patient outcomes — and that’s something that needs to be addressed in marketing materials. For example, if your organization has a high surgery success rate for complicated procedures, requires fewer appointments to address issues or sees excellent long-term improvement for patients, you can showcase these quality-of-life improvements in your marketing plans.

Share an example of how value-based care helps patients.

For example, if you use a coordinated team of specialists to help patients without sending them to outside providers, you need to explain why that's important. The patient doesn't have to get multiple referrals from their primary care physician, go to appointments for each specialist and hope that these offices communicate with each other. Using this arrangement, you can save the patient time, money and stress.

Do you think value-based care is appealing to patients?

Yes! Value-conscious patients focus on the overall outcome more than the costs. In fact, they may equate a focus on an inexpensive cost as an indicator of poor quality or impersonal service. You can't necessarily compete with large healthcare brands on pricing, but you don't have to with value-based marketing. Your target market primarily wants to know about your patient experience and the elements that make it better than your competition.

The Design Institute for Health (partnering with the Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin) has gotten a lot of attention lately about their emphasis in value-based care. What can we learn from what they’re doing?

 As leaders, they’re the ones defining what value-based healthcare is all about. Right now, we’re at the beginning stages of value-based care — and as a country, we’re not quite sure what it is or how it’s going to work. But The Design Institute for Health has its structure in-place already. They know the community and the people they’re serving. Soon, other communities are going to come to them and use the same blue-print for their system.



This is fifth installation of seven blogs that make-up our white paper, Master the Marketing Techniques of Value Based Care. Can't wait until next week to read the next section?



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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.