Talking to patients about cost

Selling the other half of the value equation

Alicia Daugherty, Marketing and Planning Leadership Council

It’s no secret that patients are becoming more value-conscious, nor that most (including those of us in the industry) don’t know how to assess value accurately. Health systems have marketed one half of the value equation—quality—for years. However, few have addressed the other half: cost.

That’s changing. Payment changes and transparency measures are bringing health care costs to the national discourse. Meanwhile, patients face a greater share of the cost burden, making them more receptive to cost messages and open to the idea that lower cost does not necessarily mean lower quality. Seeing both a mandate and an opportunity, health systems are beginning to incorporate cost messages into consumer marketing.

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