Healthcare Marketing MAR3712
Hospice Care Centers
I. Management Summary
Hospice Care Centers has a nursing home type setting but is a little different. Hospice is care designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and focuses on comfort and quality of life rather than cure. The goal is to educate and convince families and individuals that Hospice Care Centers is a comfortable and caring place for their loved ones during their end of life crisis.
II. Economic Projections
Factors that are affecting marketing for Hospice Care Centers is that hospice is financed by public programs, Medicare being at the top. “Hospices are funded by government programs or private insurance, they also receive donations from the public and grants from foundations. Hospices get reimbursed through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance for the terminally ill” (Hospice, 2015).
III. The Market – Qualitative
Hospice care is open to anyone who is terminally ill with no age boundaries or gender and if your physician and the hospice medical director certify that the individual has a life limiting illness, and death may be expected within six months or less. Some examples of terminal illness are congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, Aids, Dementia, etc. Hospice emphasizes pain management and symptom control rather than curative treatment
IV. The Market – Quantitative
Hospice Care Centers are all over the country. The one that I work for is Halifax Hospice Care Center. They have four centers in the Central Florida area. They are in Orange City, Edgewater, Port Orange and Ormand Beach. “Hospice is paid for through the Medicare Hospice Benefit and private insurers” (Kindred Home). Patients must be referred by a physician and the hospice medical director. They take patients of all ages and are looking for people to understand that hospice is just not a place to die. It is there to make your loved ones comfortable during their last days.
V. Trend Analysis
Hospice has some unfortunate trends that stop families from considering Hospice Care. The requirement to give up on curative treatment, they only concentrate on palliative care which is care that focuses on easing pain without a focus on curing the disease. Hospice is paid a flat rate fee per day for the care they provide no matter what the services are so the less they do the higher the profit. Therefore, some hospices will not provide certain services. And how can anyone really tell someone they only have six months or less to live, which is requirement for hospice. These things need to be changed.
There are Hospice competitors out there, there are the hospitals, nursing homes or even staying home and receiving home care because they are able to receive the curative care that want. Knowing that Hospice Care is different is a start in talking with the families and having the right things to say. Joining civic centers, and attending community meetings, training and websites can help get the message across about Hospice Care Centers and how they are not a bad place to be. Explaining why the family should choose hospice care at their loved one's end of life crises during speeches or being able to look up the organization on a website and having everything explained thoroughly can help.
VII. Problems and Opportunities
Problems with hospice care is curative care and palliative care, Medicare needs to remove the six-month rule on hospice enrollment. A palliative care consultant should be obtained at the onset of a life-threatening illness so people can receive comfort care while being treated for their illness. Removing the six-month rule that Medicare has for enrollment for hospice and having them pay for palliative care at the beginning of a serious illness.
VIII. Objective and Goals
Hospice Care Centers objective is to provide care in a very simple way for the terminally ill. The goal is to make sur every moment counts in their last six months of life. Terminally ill patients rely on pain relief so making sure people are as comfortable as possible. There should be counselors and spiritual care providers for emotional and spiritual needs for the patients. Grief support programs for bereavement is something every center should have. The center I work for allows the pets to stay with their loved ones as their time of need. Which I think is great!
IX. Action Programs
There are things Hospice care needs to do to help get more clients. There are advertising ideas that will help them:
• Clip ads – keyword phrases that are relevant to their target markets and then paying only when their ads are clicked.
• Yellow pages
• Bill boards
• Mass mailings
• Movie theatre screen is an excellent idea
• Newspaper ads
• Signage – a creative, attractive sign
• Wearable – relating to or noting a computer or advanced electronic device that is incorporated into an accessory worn on the body or any item of clothing.
There should be television commercials showing the staff included with Hospice Care which would be the doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, Chaplin, certified nursing assistants/home health aides and trained volunteers. A lot of people think hospice is just a place to die. There needs to be more advertisements about the true meaning of hospice and the care that they give.
(2015). Hospice Patients Alliance: Hospice Funding. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from http://www.hospicepatients.org/hospice48.html
Berkowitz, E., (2017). Essentials of Health Care Marketing. (4th ed.) Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
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