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Glitzy buildings and aggressive advertising campaigns by hospitals: Are they skimping on the quality of healthcare?
Keywords:
hospitals, advertising, healthcare costs, healthcare quality
Started by
Pulmon09798
Posted On
Category
Policy
Comments
11

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       In the marketplace, companies invest in advertising so that they can command a higher price for their product or service and/or generate a higher volume of business. One of the realities in our healthcare is that the payment for a service is fixed and hospitals cannot get a higher price for their services by advertising. Granted some larger hospital systems which were centers of healthcare excellence in yesteryears do sometimes manage to get a slightly higher contract rate for their services than others based on their market-share and size. However, the insurance companies are unlikely to pay more to the hospitals who advertise. In the current healthcare scenario where hospitals have bought up most clinical practices of primary care physicians, internists and ER physicians, advertising does not significantly increase the volume of business. As all (or most) of the hospital systems now spend money on advertising it is unlikely to change market-share of each hospital. Healthcare delivery is customized to each patient and there are few opportunities for economies of scale to save cost of delivering healthcare. There is also a downward pressure on reimbursement to hospitals. This, especially since most hospitals are not-for-profit entities. In this scenario, you would think that hospitals would spend money prudently as any unnecessary expense is going to leave that much less money to spend on the quality of patient care.

       However, increasingly the hospitals are building more glitzy buildings with luxurious amenities which seem to resemble those in high end luxury hotels, which likely increase their expense.   Lately there has been growing trend for the hospitals to advertise heavily in lay press.  Should hospitals be allowed to spend money on advertising while that money can be better spent on improving healthcare quality?

 

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Craig87662

I think that the hospitals have an obligation to the patients to advertise so that potential patients can learn about what the hospital has to offer.

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Surg90607

I don't think they need to spend money on advertising. They should use that money to invest in quality of patient care. If they do that, then patients will go back to their communities and spread good word about the hospital anyway.

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Anesth47378

I don't even understand why the hospitals need to spend money on advertising. People in the area know about the hospitals nearby including their reputation.

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AlIMed64297

I think the hospital administrators are just satisfying what the customers (patients) want. For the kind of money patients have to pay to get healthcare nowadays, I don't it is unreasonable for patients to expect clean hospital premises.

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OncSurg51524

It is horrible how things have developed. They might as well hire the Ritz-Carlton staff to deliver healthcare because sooner or later it will reach that state. The administrators don't care about the clinical/technical skills of the people they hire. They just want to improve the "experience" of the patients and their families.

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Smith20295

You are making me depressed now. I thought that our healthcare is the best in the world and that is why we pay so much for it. If I want the luxury of Ritz-Carlton, I can very well stay at Ritz-Carlton and would likely pay much less for it than staying in the hospital.

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Surg90607

Till a few years back, the most prestigious and highly regarded hospitals were not focused on "customer satisfaction" using the methods of hotel industry. They rather focused on providing outstanding quality of healthcare with highly trained and expert physicians and surgeons and nurses and other support staff.

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CTVS10483

It is because providing good healthcare costs much more than converting hospital rooms into resort like rooms. I would think that patients come to hospital to get good healthcare and not to enjoy the comforts of the five star hotel like rooms.

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Gastro93672

Also, the administrators know how to build buildings. They don't have a clue about providing high quality healthcare.

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Neuro09586

I can't get the equipment I have been asking for more than 3 years now because it cannot be accommodated in capital allotment each year - I don't even know what it means. But the hospital is re-constructing a whole building which was in good shape for a hospital, just not glitzy like the Ritz.

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CTVS10483

Welcome to our new healthcare reality. They fired several nurses and MAs in our department which was already short-staffed. The hospital just broke ground for a completely NEW state-of-the-art hospital building.

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