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Positioning Health Care Paper

Positioning Health Care Paper
Positioning Health Care Paper
Chukwudi D. Okafor
University of Riverside, California
An Assignment Submitted in Fulfillment of the Course Advanced Marketing & Management
Strategies (BUS 503)
at University of Riverside, California
Prepared for: Instructor Nidhi Shah (Ph.D, MBA)
September, 2016.
Positioning Health Care Paper
Positioning Health Care Paper
Hospital services refer to medical and surgical services and the supporting laboratories,
equipment and personnel that make up the medical and surgical undertaking of a hospital or
hospital system. These services make up the fundamentals of a hospital's offerings. They are
often directed by the needs or wants of its major users to make the hospital a one-stop or core
institution of its local community or medical network. Hospitals are institutions that are made up
of general, basic services and personnel, usually departments of medicine and surgery that
manage clinical and other services for specific diseases and conditions, as well as emergency
services. Hospital services oversee a range of medical assistances from basic health care
necessities or training and research for major medical school centers to services designed by an
industry-owned network of such institutions as health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The
mix of services that a hospital may offer depends almost entirely upon its basic mission(s) or
The purpose of this work is to distinguish between two distinct ways of delivering these
services while considering the prospects and opportunities available for both hospitals offering
the different ways. It will seek to make recommendations where necessary as to how to make
each entity more profitable.
The institutions
There are three basic types of hospitals in the United States: proprietary (for-profit)
hospitals; nonprofit hospitals; and charity- or government-supported hospitals. The services
offered by each of these institutions are markedly different, but are usually organized around the
basic mission(s) or objective (s) of the institution. One of the two institutions under scrutiny in
Positioning Health Care Paper
this work, Well-Health hospital falls under proprietary hospitals. The other is a health care group
operating for profit called MarksHealth. Both are looking for ways to increase profit while still
remaining traditional in the sense of how they operate.
Well-Health hospital, which has an excellent reputation rarely advertises, even locally. It
is very particular in which insurance plans it will accept, having being burned by paymentrelated lawsuits in the past. Many patients often pay cash because of this situation. In addition,
given their reputation, most of their departments, procedures, and doctors have long backlogs of
patients waiting to be served.
On the other hand, health care group, MarksHealth tries to appeal to the peopyle, treating
their patients as customers, a label the health care sector has been unwilling to use. They are
known for vigorously launching the retail pharmacy sector. They reasoned that 80% of the cases
they see are for rather simple conditions, which could be treated by people with basic medical
training and certification. In their early experimentation, they were blown away by the positive
responses of the patients they treated, due to the convenience of being attended to in the patient’s
own community at a local drugstore. These patients/customers also loved to be able to pop in as
walk-ins without worrying about making appointments. Insurance covered none of the visits or
service, but did cover the usual amount on prescriptions.
Market positioning
Based on their outlook and business model, both these institutions have carved out
differing positions for themselves in the market. Well-Health has assumed the position high
pricing going alongside high quality service, unadvertised distribution and a niche of those who
can afford to pay cash out of pocket for these services. This places Well-Health in a position of
Positioning Health Care Paper
near high classism or elitism in terms of how they operate. However, this has been their tradition
and they have managed to uphold it whilst pleasing their patients.
On the other hand, MarksHealth has created for itself a market which is vast due to
aggressive advertising; and it features mass distribution of its services at a good value to its
customers. This places the health care provider at a position to appeal to a broader market
because they offer services that appeal to a large group together with advertising.
The hospital and health care group see each other as competition because they both have
the same pool of consumers for their services. While the hospital has a high end tradition to
uphold, the health care group is basically subsidizing health care to a larger extent for the same
market. This makes them the number one choice if you are comfortable with average, good value
services in opposition to high end, high class service.
Furthermore, by personalizing services for its customers – which is something WellHealth has not done yet – MarksHealth has brought this service much closer to its customers.
They have customers who are happy to use the service offered in a very flexible way. This will
pose a challenge to Well-Health since they have a routine of how they attend to their patients
which does not make room for personalization.
Recommendations for Well-Health
Well-Health has established itself as a brand in terms of high quality service delivery.
This has earned it a patient base who traditionally patronize them for their high quality.
However, if they can move to the middle in terms of offering its patients more personalized care,
Positioning Health Care Paper
they can increase their patient base to include all those who value their quality but will also want
more flexibility in using their services.
They can go one better by allowing patients with insurance make use of it so that they do
not have to pay out of pocket for services their insurance already covers. These patients might
want to sacrifice the bureaucracy associated with insurance issues for a higher price of paying
out of pocket, but they will certainly appreciate being given the chance to make use of their
The hospital will increase its chances of getting the better of its competition if it begins to
allow walk-ins as part of its routine. Patients will now know the technicalities of scheduling an
appointment can be done away with for such high quality service delivery. It should look at its
staffing to make sure it has enough personnel to handle the traffic which it already has. This will
be vital most especially when it begins to advertise.
Well-Health can improve its market reach if it begins to advertise on a larger scale. This
will open up its high quality services to potential customers who may have been looking for such
a level of care but have not heard of it due to their lack of advertising. However, they have to
target those who can fit into their high end service delivery. Targeted advertising has helped
several institutions in various types of enterprise reach desired audience with maximum impact
and such will benefit Well-Health and improve its competitive chances.
Recommendations for MarksHealth
MarksHealth has done a good job at offering affordable services to its customers.
However, it should not take a risk by sacrificing quality examinations and tests by experienced
professionals in a bid to grab the market share of those who may not be able to afford such care.
Positioning Health Care Paper
This is because many heath cases may present in ways that seem simple but may be preludes to
more serious conditions. Hiring and offering more specialized care will tell its customers it is
interested in value for the money they have paid.
In addition, it should see to it that t is adequately staffed to handle the flow of persons to
these facilities where their services are offered. This to avoid overwhelming the staff there which
may create a bad reputation for them if it continues to happen frequently.
In terms of advertising, MarksHealth should continue to improve its good community
based service delivery t ensure it holds on to its market share. It should continue on its drive for
personalized care which sees patients as customers. This is highly efficient financially, and
creative market-wise.
Positioning in health care is an ever changing dynamic. With the presence of subsidized
non-profit and government options, it is vital to continue to appeal to customers in the areas of
quality service which most feel is not guaranteed in government institutions. While these
institutions may have a hold on the pricing due to subsidization, Well-Health and MarksHealth
should do their best possible to offer quality for a price that is not so far from government and
non-profit rates but still within the margin of error.
With government taking strides in improving the quality of health care, for profit
institutions need to prove that they are a match for the good work done on government’s part. If
they are to remain in business, they should be willing to make sacrifices most especially in the
area of pricing, while maintaining their already known quality.
Positioning Health Care Paper
Hospital Services (2016). Encyclopedia of Surgery. Retrieved from: