Here's the real reason why U.S. health care is so expensive

| September 28, 2017

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The U.S. is the largest health-care spender in the world, but that doesn't actually translate into better health outcomes for Americans. Dr. Clay Johnston, Dean of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, explains why.

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Henry County Health Center

Henry County Health Center is a hospital with a rich heritage of caring for patients and area residents since 1921. Located at the Crossroads of Southeast Iowa, HCHC is a 74-bed facility, featuring 25 acute care beds, along with our 49-bed long-term care facility, Park Place. HCHC remains a leader in healthcare and is well respected by hospitals of all sizes. With our technological innovation and associates who are compassionate and committed to those we serve, HCHC strives for excellence in all that we do.

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Post Pandemic Meltdown: Gamified Dieting Success Rates, Sign-ups Surge Amid ‘Quarantine 15’ Concerns

Article | December 8, 2020

Let’s face it. It’s been one tough year with too many of us sitting idle and indulging in calorie-laden foods for way too long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe. For all too many, sheltering in place has prompted unwelcome weight gain—a troublesome truth as we head into the holiday season where gluttony oft reigns supreme. That said, many individuals did have foresight and motivation back in March and the months that followed, wisely leveraging that extreme downtime to “diet for dollars” with HealthyWage—a pioneer of money-driven weight loss contests and challenges for individuals, teams and business groups. In fact, those who started a 6-month HealthyWager challenge during the pandemic (late March through May) broke company records, spurring a dramatic increase in pound shedding success rates—and in-kind cash payouts—against the norm. So motivated became America to drop, or avoid, the so-called ‘quarantine 15’ and score some cold hard cash in the process, HealthyWage reports that this past May it logged a substantial year-over-year increase in challenge participants at large. This is not surprising given Google search trends indicates the portion of people searching for weight loss hit a 5-year high in May of 2020—a level even exceeding the quintessential New Year’s diet resolution season. Beyond the fact that people who started weight loss wagers during the pandemic achieved much greater success as compared to participant results the prior year, and earning hundreds and even thousands of dollars for their efforts, it is women and individuals under 30 years of age primarily accounting for the sustained increases. For example, among the litany of pandemic era success stories, Lisa S. won over $1,900 for losing 50 pounds in 6 months while Hayden T. won over $1,200 for losing over 62 pounds in 6 months—both during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the coronavirus rages on well into the fourth quarter, we collectively find ourselves again having to shelter-in-place. Those trying to reconcile how they will survive this next round of being home bound, and the holiday season at large, with mitigated waistline and budgetary wreckage—and who are even planning their New Year resolution approach just beyond—would be wise to consider the gamified dieting approach. “Loss Aversion is a powerful dynamic and the reality of having ‘skin in the game’ can propel the results of a gamified weight loss initiative,” notes HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry. The efficacy of diet gamification is well-proven. For one, according to study findings published by JAMA Internal Medicine, behavioral economics-based gamification led to “significantly” increased physical activity among overweight and obese Americans. In this particular study, pairing a step tracking device with social incentives led to sustained, long-term behavior change—prompting participants to take more steps then with a step tracking device, alone. While the report explains that “gamification interventions significantly increased physical activity during the 24-week intervention,” with competition being the “most effective.” That’s something HealthyWage has seen play out since launching its weight-loss gamification platform in 2009. HealthyWage is, in fact, founded on earlier substantive research and "double-incentivization" methodology that proves competition and rewards—especially the cash variety—can as much as triple the effectiveness of weight loss programs. “A key element for the success of a gamification program is giving participants something to lose if they fail to meet their goal—whether tangible or intangible,” notes Roddenberry. “In this particular study, it was just points at stake but even this effected behavior change. There are actually throngs of studies demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.” A few other notable HealthyWager success stories (both female and male) are case-in-point. These include Jean N. who lost 71 lbs. and won $3,357.99 for her efforts, and Jeremy M. who also lost 71 lbs. and won $1,886.32 for his own slimdown success. From its website, HealthyWage.com shares yet more inspirational success stories of both women and men who gained financially for their pound-shedding achievements using the company’s unique gamification approach. This includes Kristin W. who lost a staggering 114 pounds and won $4,000 for her efforts, Anastasia W. who lost 41 pounds and won a whopping $10,000 in kind, and Blake S. who lost an impressive 151 pounds and won $4,670 for his own slimdown success. Figures that are tasty, indeed. These and other such HealthyWage payouts are proof positive. For their weight-loss achievements that collectively exceeds an astounding 1,050,000 pounds for this year, alone—269 of which losing in excess of 100 pounds (and nearly 7.5 million pounds lost since the company’s launch), HealthyWage has reportedly paid more than xx30,000 dieters over $13 million cash in 2020, specifically, and over $55 million cash since its inception in 2009. HealthyWage programs apply these principles: HealthyWager Challenge: participants commit to a weight loss goal and an upfront financial payment and get their money back plus a financial return if they accomplish their weight loss goal. The average participant loses 40.7 pounds and gets paid $1,245. HealthyWage Step Challenge: participants commit money and agree to increase their steps by 25% over 60-days. If they achieve their goal they get their money back plus the money from those who don't hit their goal. Upholding the new findings while also further validating HealthyWage’s well-honed approach, an additional study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine continue to prove that money is an effective motivator to “increase both the magnitude and duration of weight loss.” The same hold true in business for staff wellness initiatives. Results from one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated that “Loss Incentive’ Motivates Employees to Take More Steps ,” finding that financial incentives framed as a loss were most effective for achieving physical activity goals. As a prolific corporate and group wellness purveyor, since 2009 HealthyWage has worked with an array of hi-caliber participants on workplace and staff wellness initiatives, including Halliburton, ConocoPhillips and more than 25% of the largest school districts in the country. HealthyWage has, in fact, formally created competitive, money-motivated programs for more than 1000 Fortune 500 and other public and private companies, hospitals, health systems, insurers, school systems, municipal governments and other organizations throughout the U.S., and their program has been more informally run at more than 7,000 companies and organizations seeking to bolster staff health and well-being, and boost bottom lines in kind. “Throngs of studies reiterate the importance of the 'stick' in the design of a wellness incentive program, whether for individuals at home or for employee groups,” Roddenberry says. “Many studies have demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.” Studies do consistently show that monetary incentives serve to enhance the effectiveness of, and duly complement, weight-loss programs of any and all sorts, especially when paid out quickly like HealthyWage’s various programs. For its part, HealthyWage reports that the average participant more than doubles their investment if they are successful at achieving their goal. The financial upside potential is impressive. So, if this is the season when you would like to not only resolve to lose those extra lbs. but also actually achieve that worthy goal, consider a cash-fueled approach. It just might give you that extra dose of motivation that’ll truly help you stay the course, shed weight and make some extra money in the process. There’s no better time than right now to bank on yourself.

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5 Tips to Boost Healthcare Sales in 2021

Article | February 26, 2021

Worried about how to improve your healthcare sales? Wondering where to begin? Of course, these questions demand genuine consideration. Healthcare professionals are some of the most valuable and vital members of the societiy. And you will have to take care of their unique needs if you want to sell your products to them. Over the years, selling in most of the industries has changed; the healthcare industry is no exception. The healthcare industry has been booming over the last decade. The boom has increased the necessity of managing patient care and innovating medicines exponentially. To cater to such rising needs, newer technologies are being adopted by the industry. Flatiron Health, a well-known healthcare technology and service provider, is using data analytics to tackle cancer. They believe that the technology industry is essential to solve healthcare issues. This New York-based start-up uses its cloud-based software platform and big data to connect to various cancer centers across the country. The key asset of the company is its ability to use data analytics to make meaningful recommendations. The annual revenue of Flatiron Health is US$100-500 million. Yes! you read it right. So, all you need is to have a smart healthcare sales and marketing strategy. Having an effective strategy will help you conquer the healthcare industry and increase your profit margin. One of the easy ways to increase your healthcare IT sales is to have a firm understanding of the ohospital's organizational structure Apart from that, you can analyze the organization by asking the following questions: • How does this particular healthcare organization compare with its competitors in this specific arena? • What is their current position in the industry? • What makes them stand out from their competitors? • What makes them unique? Just like the tips mentioned above, this article is all about tips and strategies to increase your healthcare sales leads. These tips will undoubtedly help you skyrocket your healthcare technology sales by reaching out to a wider audience. Attract Your Target Audience with Content Marketing Healthcare is always been trending on search engines through relevant keywords. People search for a related term like healthcare and wellness tips, local medical professionals and medical facilities, and jobs in healthcare. • One in every 20 searches is related to healthcare • 70% of visitors of hospital websites come from organic web search • 77% of all online health queries begin with a search So, using content marketing to attract audience is the best way to increase healthcare sales. Offering healthcare and wellness information through different online channels will help you improve your credibility and visibility. This step will strengthen the relationship between staff, patients, prospective employees, and the community and increase credibility. According to CMI B2B Content Marketing Report, 2019, 62% of B2B marketers said that they were more successful with content marketing than ever before. The healthcare technology industry is technical, and it can be highly challeging when you sell the product directly to high-level executives or physicians. So, you must invest time to create compelling content like blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, etc. It will increase your healthcare sales as this content will establish your expertise. So, all you need to do is generate informative and appealing content to position your company as an authentic thought leader, which will help you land more healthcare sales. Understand your Customer Better and Build Trust You cannot imagine a society without healthcare professionals. Obviously, you will have to go out of your way to have a deep understanding of their requirements if you want to sell technology to them. Requirements of each of your clients in the healthcare industry can vary. Hence a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not help when it comes to offering the best experience to every customer. Thus, it would help if you adapted to customer needs for successful healthcare sales. Furthermore, it is essential to realize that healthcare customers are different from other business professionals. Don’t beat around the bush when you get a chance to talk to them. Directly give them information on what they are looking for, staying respectful and professional. This will help you grab attention and generate interest.. Be flexible despite the odds and do whatever possible to solve their problems. Prioritize trust-building at all times. In any sales process, trust is a decisive factor, especially in healthcare sales. The reason for this is that if you are selling medical equipment, technologies, or pharmaceuticals, your clients are risking the well-being of their patients in your hands. So, to pull up the healthcare sales game, work on building up a strong relationship and trust with your clients. Know the Buyer’s Organizational Chart Unlike working with a small clinic with a single decision-maker, you need to deal with a purchasing department or a buying group when you sell to a big hospital. To ensure that you do not miss anybody, you may have to map out your client’s purchasing hierarchy and identify everyone in the hospital involved in the process. In the healthcare industry, every single client has a very different purchasing style. You can obtain this information from your known contacts and network within the organization. Knowing the organizational chart of your clients will help you expand your influence with in he organization and boost your healthcare sales. Focus on Your Client’s Customers Even for most effective sales organizations, it is remarkably challenging to sell to a client-driven and continually emerging industry like healthcare. However, if you make it through this competitive industry, you will have endless opportunities to add to your profits through successful healthcare sales. When dealing with a service-based industry, the best strategy is to serve your clients’ customers. Essentially, if you find a practical way to improve their experience, your clients will be happy and you can establish a long-lasting relation with them. Whenever you deal with a client from the healthcare industry, remember to focus on the actual patients. This strategic line of thought can surely bring you more healthcare sales and increase your annual profit. Get Started with Social Media Marketing This is fairly obvious that, in the modern world, social media has become a part of the everyday. There is no easier way to increase your client numbers than to promote your product or service on a platform that everyone uses. Facebook is the best social media platform. Mainly because senior people use it as they are likely to require medical assistance. A Facebook page is the best place for you to start with your social media advertising. It is an informational source that can increase the targeted traffic coming to your website. Due to the easy availability of information online, medical professionals do not depend upon salespeople. Instead, they do online research before making a purchase decision. Social media marketing can help you increase healthcare sales and be on the top at all times. Rapidly evolving regulatory forces, market dynamics, and consumer demands are constantly adding to the healthcare industry's complexity. Driving meaningful patient action and true engagement through your innovative sales and marketing solutions will increase your healthcare sales. This will also make you stand out from the rest of the pack, ending in a long-term relationship with all your customers. Ace your healthcare sales with these strategies and tips. Reach out to us if you are looking for any assistance. We at Media 7 provide all the B2B healthcare sales and marketing solutions. We focus on bringing in potential clients to your business platforms, converting them, and making them your happy customers forever. To know more about us, visit: https://media7.com Frequently Asked Questions What is a healthcare marketing strategy? Healthcare marketing strategy is usually an inbound marketing process. We bring forth all the resources that could bear against various threats and opportunities in a highly competitive healthcare business through the process. Why is healthcare marketing important? For the sustainable growth of the healthcare industry, healthcare marketing is very important and an integral part. Marketing of healthcare technologies and other new facilities in line with treatment is very important for the transformation of the industry. What is healthcare sales? The process of persuading healthcare clients and making them buy your products is healthcare sales. In the process, you will sell drugs, medicines, equipment, and technologies to healthcare clients. How can healthcare professionals drive sales? Focusing on your client’s customer is an innovative strategy for sales in healthcare. A healthcare professional is likely to buy your product if you prove that your product can make their patients' lives easier.

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How Telehealth is Changing the Nursing Industry

Article | April 13, 2020

Before we discuss the importance of telehealth and how it is changing the nursing industry in general, it is important to understand what telehealth is all about. With the advent of new-age technologies and their impact on the fast-paced, growing population, medical health is an essential department that requires special attention. One’s health is of utmost importance, and to enhance the medical facilities, we as responsible citizens and experts in this particular field must come up with novel and quick solutions to provide optimum precaution and cure. Hence, one of such technological achievements is telecommunication,s and by utilizing such a useful resource, health-related services too can be offered. Telehealth promotes the distribution of various services related to medical health through electronic devices and telecommunication technologies. What can one possibly do if he or she lives in a different country and is pushed to an emergency situation where he requires medical advice from a physician who lives in another corner of the world? Of course, through telecommunication devices, the whole process of exchanging information becomes smoother and easier. Several health-related services such as medical advice, medical care, monitoring, education, remote admissions, and intervention can be extended to a long-distance patient with the help of telehealth facilities. Hence, the contemporary picture of health and medicine has been radically improved with the introduction of these electronic telecommunication systems.

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4 Key Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Health Tech Messaging

Article | January 29, 2021

COVID-19 has sped up the adoption of healthcare technology solutions by healthcare providers. This has unexpectedly brought a peak in opportunity for health tech companies to achieve important business, demonstrating your innovations. However, it is very challenging and competitive as bigger health tech companies pivot and new health tech start-ups keep coming into the healthcare market. This also makes the healthcare technology market an increasingly competitive space. Thus, all health tech companies need to depend more on effective health tech messaging for their business purpose and credibility. This will help them bring their targeted clients on board for the long-term. Health tech Messaging Challenges Faced by Marketers Nowadays, the process of marketing products online is a combat sport. With every passing year, it is becoming more challenging for health tech marketers to beat the algorithms, build the audience, and ultimately win the hearts of the customers through effective health tech messaging. Digital health leaders are coming up with amazing technology innovations that can revolutionize the healthcare industry. Electronic medical records (EMR) software, medical billing software, medical practice management software, electronic claims software, medical database software, medical research software, medical diagnosis software, medical imaging software, telemedicine software, etc. are some of the examples of amazing technology innovations and latest healthcare technologies. But, things fall apart when it comes to marketing through effective health tech messaging. The following are some of the health tech messaging challenges faced by marketers. • Communicating the purpose and value of your business and the products effectively to clients • Making the clients understand the credibility of the technology products and your business • Product positioning • Lack of clear healthcare marketing strategy • Bad marketing advice • Lack of effective and compelling marketing content • Failing to understand the client/buyer persona • Failing to understand the brand pillars, • Ignorant of effective use of various messaging channels, and much more Why Does Effective Health Tech Messaging Matter? From the introduction part, you might have already understood the power of a good health tech messaging strategy. If you do not have a unified marketing strategy, you will end up merely alienating potential customers; they may end up in confusion about the purpose of your health tech brand. Moreover, without an effective health tech messaging strategy, you may become incoherent to your audience. But the real impact of a cohesive and good health tech messaging strategy will surely go beyond everything we have talked about already and empower your business in all aspects. Different marketing materials, whether they are social media posts, emails, podcasts, videos, or something else, your health tech messaging strategy will guide you in determining what to focus on and what tone to be used. If you are planning a social media campaign or writing blogs and articles, you will know the attention-grabbing ways of speaking to your customers. This is possible only if you have a defined messaging strategy. Customer service teamwork also becomes more effective and easier, when you have a good health tech messaging strategy. Educating the customer is easier when you speak to them in a tone and language that you know they will understand. Doing it consistently makes you win the customer. How Health Tech Messaging Can Work for Reaching Healthcare Decision Makers It is not an easy task to engage healthcare decision-makers in hospitals, insurance providers, health systems, and private practices. These high-powered directors, managers, and executives are busier than ever. This makes the process of health tech marketing difficult. Apart from overwhelming job responsibilities, these healthcare professionals are also inundated with ads, emails, and phone calls. So rather than sending them messages randomly, it is important to help your prospects when they are free from their daily disruptions and have time. Here, an effective health tech messaging strategy can help you reach out to decision makers easily. Health tech messaging strategy lays out various health tech marketing techniques, tricks, or tactics. These health tech messaging techniques or methodologies are helpful in the three stages of your health tech client journey: awareness, consideration, and decision making stages. Through all these stages of health tech massaging, you help or influence health tech decision makers to recognise they have a problem, consider a solution, and finally they take the decision to purchase your product. 4 Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Health Tech Messaging Performing your brand messaging haphazardly is not going to take you anywhere in reaching out to people, who need your products. Instead, you should slow down yourself a bit and build a compelling health tech messaging strategy. Test it, launch it, and learn from it. If you are strategic, you are truly going to drive your mission despite the noise that is existing on the internet today. Here are four important factors that will help you make your health tech messaging strategy effective and compelling. Understanding Your Targeted Audience You have a better idea of who you are and what you offer. Now you need to know who your audience is, which is equally important in building health tech messaging strategy. Throughout the process of messaging, it is vital to keep your ideal buyer in mind. So, you will only create messages that will resonate with the needs, interests, motivations, and pain points of your potential clients. The things you want to know about your targeted clients are called buyer/client persona. Buyer Persona It is better to create a buyer persona that tells who your customer and what their goals are. Buyer persona also will help you align your brand with your customers. According to HubSpot, a buyer persona can be a semi-fictional representation of your potential customers based on real data and market research and about your current customers. Knowing who your messages are aimed at is important in developing a successful health tech brand messaging strategy. Before you go any further, buyer persona makes you know: • Who you are marketing to • What they care about and value • The sort of language they use and will respond to • Geographical location • Educational and income levels • Psychographics and behavioral patterns, etc. Focusing on Your Differentiating Factors from Competitors To figure out your differentiating factors from the competitors is as important as you understand your place in the market. You will have to assess the differences and similarities between the products and services you offer and your competitors’ offerings. Also, compare the targeted audience of you and your competitors. Understanding your competition, you face from the market, will get you a clear image of your brand and what health tech message you may have to send out to your targeted audience. Just remember that each of the health tech brands can have only one message; it needs to be unique. Due to the competition, messages can be too similar, but it should not make your customers get confused about your business. Thus, communicating your uniqueness to your audience is a very important factor. In this regard, conducting some competitor analysis may help you a lot. Making your Value Propositions Obvious You can influence how people perceive your brand if you could successfully communicate the values of your business. Values are principles or mission that guide all actions of brands. Storytelling can be effectively used to illustrate the values of your brand. Success stories from Salesforce and Microsoft’s Story Labs are examples. These stories can be on things such as empowering small businesses or improving the world through technology. It creates loyalty when you make your clients feel they are part of something that is going to change the world for the better. It is very helpful to start your health tech messaging process with your value prop because it is the core of what you do and who you are. Your value prop explains both the emotional and functional benefits your service or products provides. This means the value people get out of your products. Communicating the values of your company is considered strong health tech messaging only when it specifies how your brand is going to solve a problem and why should people choose your product. Using Multiple Technology Channels for Brand Messaging In general, digital health tech messaging has to be pinpointed. The spray and pray method will not work to bring in inbound leads. However, if you want to reach out to health tech audience with your health tech messaging, you should be there on all the channels they are on. Here are a few examples of channels, which can be used to reach out to people effectively with your health tech messaging process. Digital Ads If digital ads are used effectively for health tech messaging, you can reach out to your target audience easily. When digital ads are used correctly, you can pinpoint the audience through audience targeting and keywords. Moreover, through ad channels, you can reach out to people who otherwise would not have ever known about your products. However, if you are not using digital ads effectively, you will lose money without any results. Social Media Most people are active on some sort of social media channels. Many of these people use these channels either for networking or educating themselves in their field. This is the reason why you should concentrate on social media platforms for effective health tech messaging in a way that encourages interaction and feedback. Along with establishing a strong relationship with your prospects, you can also use social media platforms to build brand awareness through health tech messaging process. Emails Emails are the fruitful medium for effective health tech messaging. You can build brand awareness through seeding emails regularly. It will work as a bookmark than a selling point. Potential clients will remember the good interaction you had with them through emails when they have a problem in the future. Along with these channels, other channels such as videos, websites, blogs, articles, podcasts, etc. also can be used for effective health tech messaging. These multiple channels, where most of your potential clients are present, are selling points for your health tech products or helps in lead generation for healthcare technology products. To sum up, what matters more in health tech messaging and marketing is projecting your values, differentiating factors, knowing A to Z about your targeted audience, and meeting them on the channel, where they are present. Your health tech brand message is something that makes you dwell in the minds of people. Thus, how you are perceived matters a lot. Start building your brand today by sending out effective health tech messages to your potential clients. Frequently Asked Questions How does health tech messaging help? Heathtech messaging helps you to improve your business by making your potential clients understand what you are and what you do. Brand awareness of your products is done through effective health tech messaging. What is the best health tech messaging method? The best health tech messaging method is to project your business values in all the marketing campaigns you do. It should specify what your customers can expect from your products and services and what changes it will make in society. How does technology help in healthcare? Technology helps healthcare to avail all patients the best treatment available and make them satisfied and engaged. Also, technology helps healthcare industry to innovate treatments and revolutionize the entire practice in the healthcare sector. Why is technology important in healthcare? For achieving optimum patient satisfaction and engagement, technology is important in healthcare. Also, technology plays a role in improving the healthcare system and saving the lives of people.

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Spotlight

Henry County Health Center

Henry County Health Center is a hospital with a rich heritage of caring for patients and area residents since 1921. Located at the Crossroads of Southeast Iowa, HCHC is a 74-bed facility, featuring 25 acute care beds, along with our 49-bed long-term care facility, Park Place. HCHC remains a leader in healthcare and is well respected by hospitals of all sizes. With our technological innovation and associates who are compassionate and committed to those we serve, HCHC strives for excellence in all that we do.

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