Washington's Impact on Healthcare: The First 100 Days and Beyond

by Jason Skinner, Chief Marketing Officer - 05/11/17

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Among other stellar keynote speakers at this week’s Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit (HMPS) in Austin, political analyst Paul Keckley shared intriguing perspective on how Washington insiders think about the industry and where it's headed.

When it comes to healthcare-related politics, the former executive for Vanderbilt University Medical Center and managing editor of the The Keckley Report is as well connected as it gets.

Here are a handful of his most intriguing insights and ideas shared with summit attendees.

Healthcare needs strong marketers more than ever.

“You represent the voice within your organizations that reflects the brand’s value,” Keckley said. That clarity of voice and identity will become even more critical with increased competition from non-traditional providers, along with the impact of consumers actively seeking the best choices for themselves and their loved ones.

Consumers buy on emotion — and that’s not limited to cars and coffee.

“When it comes to healthcare, opinions are strongly held and rarely based on data,” Keckley said. Rather, consumers form their convictions based on personal experience with a healthcare provider.

Physician employment by health systems is a controversial issue in Washington.

Keckley said many physicians in congress are opposed to the idea of physicians being employed by the hospitals they work for. For example, Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Tom Price has expressed his belief that an environment in which caregivers are beholden to business interests is immoral and a conflict of interest.

Keckley advises a stronger focus on advocacy.

“I would recommend that healthcare leaders double down on advocacy at the state level,” Keckley suggested. He said advocacy should dramatically increase as “politics trumps policy” in healthcare, and policymakers prey on consumer ignorance all too often when it comes to healthcare regulations.

You can subscribe for weekly recommendations from Keckley on his website.

A single-payer system could be closer than many think.

Keckley intimated that a referendum on the single-payer system could be on the docket in 2020. As an indication of how that system might impact consumer sentiment toward healthcare quality, he pointed to data that consistently shows the most satisfied patients are those in government-run programs like military care and Medicaid.

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Topics: Healthcare Industry Insights & Trends

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