Anticipating Managed Care’s Challenges, From Benchmarking to Contracting

Successfully working your way through the managed care maze as a marketer or PR professional demands seizing non-traditional opportunities in areas like benchmarking, managed care contracting and marketing to employer groups. The bottom line to surviving the sweeping changes of this industry is taking strategic initiative outside of your PR/marketing comfort zone to learn new communications skills that will arm you for the future. In this special managed care issue, you will learn to navigate through some of the most challenging provider-based communications issues involving quality initiatives, comparative analysis and branding strategy. In "Earning A Seat at the Benchmarking Table" learn why benchmarking initiatives are in increasingly important for hospitals and what the marketer's role entails. The story highlights innovative online benchmarking opportunities and consulting firms that provide benchmarking expertise. On the quality front, we take a look at the health plans that earned high customer satisfaction rankings. These stamps of approval are used to bolster local brand initiatives in the market and support value claims to employers interested in third-party validation. And winning share of mind from employer groups requires strategic cost/benefit comparisons, knowing audience demographics and becoming attuned to corporate culture, says Jay Klitsch, senior VP of managed care marketing at DiMark Marketing, a healthcare and insurance marketing firm in Langhorne, Pa. Also learn to become more involved with the managed care contracting process as hospitals pursue more risk-sharing agreements with insurance companies. Nancy Hess, a managed care consultant, identifies where the marketing opportunities are for tapping into this multi-billion dollar revenue stream. For quick managed care resources, refer to "Managed Care Hot Tools" and agencies that specialize in managed care strategy.

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