When Google, Amazon and Walmart take over healthcare are you going to compete? Or partner?

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The word disruption, even in all caps, is still an understatement regarding what is happening to hospitals and other traditional healthcare providers across the country. With tech and retail giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, CVS and Walmart looking to transform the healthcare market, hospitals are seeing the status quo wither and dissolve quicker than a consumer can purchase goods with a smartphone using an Amazon app.

Rising healthcare costs, plus consumer’s shopping expectations, plus the government’s intervention, are creating a perfect storm that hospitals must address before their ships literally sink. The answer? Give consumers what they want.

A recent issue brief by top healthcare researchers, Making ‘Cents’ for the Patient: Improving Health Care Through Consumerism, discusses the fact that consumers expect convenience and control over how they shop.[1] Co-author Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics and director of the institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences, states:

We live in a world where an individual’s discretionary choices (food, clothing and travel) are increasingly driven by convenience and amenability to control — for example, online shopping — and the prevalence of mobile apps,” the authors wrote. “These attitudes will only heighten with future generations and it should come as no surprise that they greatly influence how people interact with the health care sector. The increasing prevalence of walk-in clinics, patient experience/satisfaction surveys, online physician reviews, telemedicine and concierge medicine speak to this. More importantly, they add an air of permanence to the present consumerism movement.[2]

Put simply: people have come to expect the “Amazon” experience in everyday shopping and they are growing increasingly frustrated with hospitals and providers who won’t keep up. People can’t even find a price for a procedure before services are rendered. With the ever-present fear of sticker shock, no wonder people are putting off healthcare services.

Enter the tech and retail behemoths. Amazon’s partnership with JPMorgan Chase and Warren Buffet. Apple’s plan for medical clinics. Google’s sibling, Verily, (under the parent company Alphabet) is considering getting into insurance via the Medicaid market. Uber threatens to disrupt ambulances.[3]

Walmart is opening 20 new stores and remodeling 500 stores including updated pharmacy areas with new private consultation rooms.[4] Primary care providers will be hit hard as consumers are driven to retail clinics through insurance and price incentives. This is just one aspect of the many changes coming soon to the status quo.

These companies, while just entering healthcare, are poised to create permanent changes in the way healthcare business is run. And they are bringing their tech-savvy consumers with them, who aren’t settling any longer.

You know the old saying: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Technology is changing healthcare business across every touchpoint. If you want to keep your current patients, and even increase your base, this is the time to move. Embracing what’s coming can be to your advantage, especially if you jump in first and offer your consumers the “Amazon” experience in healthcare.

As their purchasing power grows, healthcare consumers will demand access to retail experience that provides actual pricing, lets them shop, schedule and pay for the deal. HealthQRS offers that platform.

HealthQRS provides both an offensive and defensive strategy to providers facing these huge disruptions. We give you a differentiator in the marketplace to compete. We make you different from the other guys because nobody else has a retail experience to offer people the “Amazon” experience in healthcare. HealthQRS’ platform can even help you connect to the disrupters and join them. You could be the provider of choice for their consumers.

And guess what? Our platform also solves your compliance issue with Mr. Azar.

At the end of the day, the decision maker is the consumer. This solution helps the consumer to come to you. When you give people the “Amazon” experience in the healthcare industry, you give them what they’ve come to expect in every area of their lives.

HealthQRS has already created the patient-friendly interface that provides the “Amazon” experience in healthcare and you can implement that solution immediately. We are a software-as-a-service (SaaS), so you have no capital investment, just a low monthly fee. We also have a smartphone application that consumers can use to access actual costs. Using our system instead of relying on the chargemaster will allow people to see actual costs and not suffer from sticker shock. You can use this to comply with the government’s requirements as well as market your services.

Our e-commerce medical marketplace platform is the perfect vertical application for integrated delivery networks. Our solution provides regulation compliance and serves as a marketing tool for your services. At the same time, we will solve your bad debt issues caused by not collecting from consumers, and many other benefits.

HealthQRS’ robust medical marketplace is set to help people who need lower cost options. Our solution allows consumers to connect to lower-cost services such as telehealth services and clinics.  Not only do we have an online marketplace that provides a full retail experience including accurate pricing (not just estimates), but we are enabling technology that provides telehealth connectivity as well. Our technology enables people to connect to more cost-effective, consumer-oriented healthcare options. If consumers opt for an in person visit, we can even help them find a ride to an in person visit, whether via Uber, taxi cab, or public transportation, for example.

Give consumers what they want: access to the real costs of healthcare. Give them a way to shop, schedule and pay for services from their phones. This is an opportunity to go beyond what the government is requiring. You can turn an edict into a positive for your market share. In addition, our solution will solve your bad debt issues because we help you collect upfront. Our solution can be used for large employers, payers, and even state governments to manage their Medicaid programs.

HealthQRS has over 15 years of experience developing healthcare retail experiences for people and our founders have over 50 combined years of e-commerce experience. Our E-Commerce Medical Marketplace Flyer provides more information. We invite you to contact us or schedule a demo right now to get a jumpstart on 2019.

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[1] Jeff Falk, “Study: Consumerism in health care increasing,” Rice University, Mar. 23, 2018, http://news.rice.edu/2018/03/23/study-consumerism-in-health-care-increasing/

[2] Ibid.

[3] Dylan Scott, “Why Apple, Amazon, and Google are making big health care moves,” Vox, Mar. 6, 2018, https://www.vox.com/technology/2018/3/6/17071750/amazon-health-care-apple-google-uber

[4] Hayley Peterson, “Walmart is remodeling 500 stores as part of an $11 billion spending plan — here’s how stores will change,” Apr. 12, 2018, http://www.businessinsider.com/walmart-remodels-500-stores-changes-2018-4

 

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