ACOs Widen Marketing's Scope

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media , July 20, 2011

"My concern is that many providers will spend too much time in the contemplative state. Health systems should not be sitting on the sidelines. Get in the accountable care game in order to save insurers from being the dominant player in the marketplace," says Barber.

Increasingly, larger insurance agencies are aquiring practices to impose cost-cutting strategies. The result is that the line between insurer and provider is disappearing as health plans take a more active role in care. Physicians are incentivized to cut costs by doing less.

So where do marketers fit in to this accountable care picture? From what I've heard from Pullin and Barber, there will be shift in the role of marketing to include other audiences from payers to the community.

"For people working in the marketing field, the challenge is to maximize a strategic position in today's environment while positioning for the future," Pullin says. "Effective marketing and communication strategies implemented today will need to consider and anticipate the paradigm shift that will be occurring among a health system's stakeholder audiences."

There are a number of ways to redesign care, but the role of the marketer comes with communicating a united message across the organization, and consolidating resources within a region.

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