The 2.0 Healthcare Marketing Culture

Determining your Medical Practice-Niche Focus

By: Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™




It is believed that small to medium sized independent medical practices will have limited appeal to patients and buyers of medical services in the nascent Healthcare 2.0 future. Here’s why?

Healthcare 2.0 Defined

According to Matthew Holt, and other sources, Healthcare 2.0 may be defined as:

 “a rapidly developing and powerful new business approach in the health care industry that uses the Web to collect, refine and share information. It is transforming how patients, professionals, and organizations interact with each other and the larger health system. The foundation of healthcare 2.0 is information exchange plus technology. It employs user-generated content, social networks and decision support tools to address the problems of inaccessible, fragmentary or unusable health care information. Healthcare 2.0 connects users to new kinds of information, fundamentally changing the consumer experience (e.g., buying insurance or deciding on/managing treatment), clinical decision-making (e.g., risk identification or use of best practices) and business processes (e.g., supply-chain management or business analytics)”.

Marketing and Advertising

Thus, the marketing and advertising of medical services through traditional channels [patient word-of-mouth, physician referrals, newspapers and magazines, insurance handbooks, internet, etc] is diminishing and will be soon gone forever. In its place, as a surviving healthcare 2.0 medical-executive, you must philosophically decide to become either a discount, service or value provider, and then aggressively pursue this cultural strategy in your medical practice, clinic or healthcare organization. And, as we see it, there will be three types of cultures to investigate:

1. The Service Provider

A medical provider committed to a service philosophy must be willing to do whatever it takes to satisfy the patient.  For example, this may mean providing weekend, weeknight, or holiday office hours, instead of a routine 9-5 schedule. House calls, hospital visits, prison calls and nursing home rounds would be included in this operational model.  Children, elderly patients or those with mental, physical or chemically induced challenges are all fertile niches of a core service philosophy. Managed care contracts are eschewed, as concierge practices exemplify this culture.   

2. The Discount Provider

A discount provider is one who has made a conscious effort to practice low cost, but high volume medicine.  For example, discount providers must depend on economics of scale to purchase bulk supplies, since this model is ideal for multi-doctor practices.  Otherwise, several practitioners must establish a network, or synergy, to create a virtual organization to do so. In this manner, malpractice insurance, major equipment and other recurring purchases can be negotiated for the best price.  Another major commitment must be made to computerized office automation devices, eMRs, RHOs, etc. By necessity, such as offices are small, neatly but sparsely furnished, with functional and utilitarian assets.  Most all managed care contracts just be aggressively sought since patient flow and volume is the key to success in this organizational type.

3. The Value-Added Provider

A value-added medical provider is committed to practicing at the highest and riskiest levels of medical and surgical care and has the credentials and personality to do so.  Value differentiation is based on such factors as; healthcare 2.0 fluency, board certification, hospital privileges, subspecialty identification or other unique attributes such as fluency in a second language or acceptance into an ethnocentric locale. This brand identification must be enunciated in your marketing activities, and genre, as you answer the question: What can I offer that no one else can?  


One sound marketing approach for the future of Healthcare 2.0 is to rely on a leader in the hospital, medical clinic and healthcare administration publication industry. 

For example, this complimentary Executive-Post forum and our subscription companion 2-volume 24 chapter premium quarterly guide, is relevant to the entire fluctuating healthcare space and can be a valuable navigation tool in these troubling economic times. It will help you survive in the era of Healthcare 2.0

Disclaimer: I am the Editor-in-Chief of: Healthcare Organizations: [Journal of Financial Management Strategies].


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The Great Depression of 2008

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Understanding EESA

[By Staff Reporters]

On October 3, 2008, President Bush signed into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA).  It contained significant provisions that will not only impact the financial sector but is a truly “global” law aimed at establishing the stability and reliability of the American banking system and its posture to the world community.

While presenting a speech on the issue in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday, October 11, after a precipitous drop in the stock market the day before, President Bush at 8:00 a.m. (EST) held a press conference with the G-7 Finance Ministers behind him attempting to, once again, quell the fears of the global business community as to a concentrated global effort to “right the ship” of state.

Medical Professionals; et al

Physicians, healthcare administrators, financial advisors, iMBA firm clients, printer-journal subscribers to and our Executive-Post readers seem to be all asking the same question: are we entering into another “great depression.” To answer this, one needs to review the events leading to this worldwide financial debacle.

Not the Same 

First, this is nothing like the depression of the 1930’s.  The institutions and causes are substantially different.  To prove this your self, just read the seminal work by the economist, John Kenneth Galbraith, “The Great Crash“, and the dissimilarities to the present global situation will be striking.

Second, a little known fact, but two prime catalysts were the principal culprits in this crisis.  One is a financial vehicle called credit default swaps (CDSs) and the other is a generally accepted financial accounting rule known as “mark-to-market”.

Investment Banking Meltdown

At the beginning of 2008, the United States had five major investment banking houses.  By October it had only two remaining.  What brought this major change was the so-called sub-prime debt problem.  But this is the deceptive label given it by naive journalists.  In reality, it was a worldwide market of 54 Trillion (this is not a typo – say again, 54 Trillion) dollar CDS market that collapsed.

Cause and Affect 

How could this happen?  Greed is the short answer but the business expediency of setting up a CDS is largely to blame.  Here’s how it worked.


A party would by phone or email enter into a credit default swap contract with a bank.  This could be for an actual debt, e.g. sub-prime obligation or hedging on a non-owned instrument (cross-party) obligation.  Payment of premiums ensured the default.  In the event of default of the obligation, the bank, e.g., Lehman Brothers, would satisfy the contract.  It is a significant fact in these transactions that there was no federal or state regulatory body supervising them. Why?  Because these contracts were not per se securities and, thus, no oversight was necessary.  Of course, the facts belie this assertion — to the tune of 54 Trillion dollars!

Financial Accounting

Then there is the financial accounting rule that required businesses — including financial institutions — to mark their assets, i.e., sub-prime mortgages, to market value.  In a declining market this would require the creation of an unrealized loss on the bank’s books causing investors and others to view the bank as less solvent. 


This accounting rule, endorsed by the International Accounting Board in London and enunciated in its International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), is also applied overseas.  French President Sarkosy stated that the rule is rescinded in France and the recent EESA of 2008 in the United States requires the SEC to decide whether to suspend it as well.


The DOW fell to 8,519 yesterday, the NASDAQ to 1,615 and the S&P to 896; all medical professionals are anxious. And so, are we entering into another great depression? Please vote.

And, subscribe and contribute your own thoughts, experiences, questions, knowledge and comments on this topic for the benefit of all our Medical Executive-Post readers.


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.


Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact:



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