An article just published online by NBC News takes potshots at the cost of healthcare marketing, implying (and outright stating, through “experts” quoted in the piece) that it raises healthcare spending unnecessarily and causes some consumers to fret over diseases they didn’t even know existed. It cites data, published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, revealing that overall healthcare marketing spending is up to $30 billion a year (nearly twice what it was 10 years ago). The article also dwells heavily on what it considers to be exorbitant spending on direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceutical products and its effect on drug prices. What it spends little time discussing is the fact that marketing also drives patients to seek necessary care they might otherwise go without, which could ultimately save money in the healthcare system; as disease management proponents have been saying for decades, the cost of a prescription is a tiny fraction of the cost of an operation that could have been rendered unnecessary with early treatment. Further, patients can’t get any treatment in your urgent care center if they don’t know you’re there—and most of them find you thanks to your own marketing efforts, which cost money. JUCM published an article that explains why spending money on self-promotion is not just good for business, but necessary in order to ensure patients have the information necessary to make informed decisions about the right level of care they need. A Return-on-Investment Approach to Urgent Care Marketing is available in our archive.
Despite Demonization, Marketing is an Essential Healthcare Cost—Especially in Urgent Care