HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - August 20, 2008 | Healthcare's Dirty (Business) Secret View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Healthcare's Dirty (Business) Secret
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

It's pretty rare that I have a hard time forming an opinion on any given topic, but I'm conflicted about the latest healthcare marketing controversy. At issue: Should newspapers and hospitals team up to provide healthcare content? A number of arrangements have drawn fire of late—including a newspaper that "sold" its health section to a local hospital, which then provided content for the section, and a TV station that had an exclusive arrangement to run stories that one of its local hospitals suggested. [Read More]
  August 20, 2008

Editor's Picks
Marketers need medical attention
Hospitals can't run without doctors—that's a no-brainer. But marketers can't do their jobs without them, either. This blogger argues that physicians have to get on board with their marketing team from the moment they put on their long white coat at a new hospital. They shouldn't just wait for the patients to show up at their door, but should help in the referral process. And, above all, doctors must ensure that patients have a positive experience once they're admitted. "At the end of the day the sales team is just as good as the weakest link in the medical delivery team," she writes. [Read More]
Pharma marketers hope to keep on giving
You just can't hold pharma marketers down. Despite the new restrictions in Massachusetts on gifts that drug and medical device companies can slip into physicians' pockets (or stomachs), many life sciences companies say they'll continue to market to doctors under the new guidelines. The law requires that pharma and medical device companies disclose gifts that are upwards of $50, and bans certain kinds of gifts, such as tickets to sporting events. Violators could be fined $5,000. The bill that Massachusetts lawmakers originally tried to pass earlier this year would have completely banned all gifts to healthcare professionals, but only parts of the bill were voted into law. [Read More]
It's what's inside the hospital that matters
This Wall Street Journal article spells out the benefits of improving the patient experience, particularly as it relates to building new facilities. "Most veterinarians put their patients in better surroundings than patients who are getting chemo," hospital design expert Jain Malkin tells the paper. Hospital leaders who fail to see design from the patient's (or customer's) point of view approve spending on fancy hospital facades that will bolster their public image, but have little or no impact on the patient. Not new news to marketing insiders, but still a good article to use to educate anyone on your C-Suite or board that still doesn't get it. [Read More]
Putting your money where your brand is
Talk about a commitment to branding: Texas Health Resources Inc., the largest hospital system in the über-competitive North Texas market, will spend $23.3 million to rename its 12 hospitals. A new green-and-blue logo with the name "Texas Health" will precede the current name of each hospital. The company spent $1.3 million to prepare for the change by updating its Web site, paying legal fees, changing graphic designs on business materials, and so on. Over the next three years, it plans to spend an additional $22 million to change the signs as well as to add more signs on several campuses. The company says it will also increase advertising in newspapers, radio, and TV. [Read More]
Campaign Spotlight
Celebrating 10 Years with 27 Hands
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brad Coleman, of the No. 27 Ford Fusion Kimberly-Clark car, received 27 helping hands during the Kroger 200 at O'Reily Raceway Park. The event marked the 10th year of a partnership between Kroger Central Division, sponsor of the race and owner of food stores, pharmacies, and fuel centers in the Mid-Atlantic States, and Riley Hospital for Children (located in Indianapolis). To celebrate, Kimberly-Clark worked with Riley Children's to orchestrate painting handprints representing 27 Riley patients and their families onto Coleman's race car. [Read More]
Calendar of Events
8/28/08: Marketing to Physicians: Increase Referrals and Grow Market Share

9/9/08: Marketing Obstetrics: Strategies for Service Line Campaigns
9/17/08: SHSMD Annual Conference, San Francisco

10/15/08: HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards, Chicago

10/16/08: HealthLeaders Media Top Leadership Teams, Chicago
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Help the Uninsured (Without Going Broke)

The number of people who can't pay much—or anything—for their care just keeps rising. Some hospitals have found new ways to help them while still protecting the financial health of the hospital. [Read More]
Marketing Forum

Online Wait Times Give Patients a Say in Their Care: Patients don't like to wait for care, but a study released in June by Press Ganey says hospitals that keep their patients informed and updated about wait times in the emergency department have better patient satisfaction scores. This was hardly news for those at Mountain States Health Alliance, a 14-hospital system based in Johnson City, TN. MSHA has posted its ED wait times online for more than four years, and patients have enjoyed the option of selecting the MSHA ED with the shortest wait time to meet their healthcare needs. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Bob Allen, vice president for public relations and government affairs at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, NY, shares how his hospital's "Expect the Best" campaign helped the hospital grow its OB market share by 15%. [Listen Now]
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly

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Marketing Resources From HealthLeaders Media

Your physician relations program: How to increase referrals and grow market share.
Find out what makes winning hospital campaigns work: Join us in Chicago for the 2008 HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards.
Get tips, tools, and techniques in our new guide to market research for healthcare marketers.
Downstream revenue in the bank: Strategies for marketing your obstetrics service line.
Overwhelmed by the thought of developing a brand strategy? Start here.
Are you making the most of your call center? Increase cross-sales and boost ROI.