Healthcare & Blogs: Should We Believe The Hype?

Physicians, healthcare executives, pharmaceutical companies and others have been slow to jump on the blogging bandwagon. The primary reason is because they have a negative opinion of blogs. Some believe that blogs are filled with inaccurate information and cannot drive sales of healthcare products and services.

In some respects, this negative perception of blogs is justified. This is because
blogs are far from a perfect communications medium. Some of the reasons for this
include:

– It Is Difficult To Vet Blog Content: Currently, there is no standard set of
criteria people can use to determine whether a blog is credible

– There Are No Metrics: There is a lot of anecdotal evidence indicating
that blogs may impact a company’s bottom line, but no hard statistics showing how
blogs have driven sales or changed customer perceptions

– Blogging Is Hard Work: Blogs take a lot of time and effort to develop
and grow. Unless a blog is integrated into an organization’s long term
communications strategy, it may not be successful

Why Blogs Deserve A Serious Look

Despite the many drawbacks associated with blogs, executives, physicians and other
players in the healthcare industry should take them seriously. Blogs are poised to
significantly impact many aspects of healthcare, including perceptions of medical
products and the relationship between providers and patients. Following is a brief
overview of some of the key ways blogs may influence the healthcare industry.

Healthcare Blogs and the Provider-Patient Relationship

In July 2005, Harris Interactive released a poll indicating that 117 million Americans
have turned to the Internet for healthcare information. Think about this for a
moment. This survey suggests that online health information may be having a
profound influence on the healthcare provider-patient relationship. This means that
people may already be using information posted by providers, experts, patients and
others on blogs in conversations with their physicians.

Healthcare Blogs and Market Research

Healthcare blogs are already affecting healthcare-related communications activities,
including market research. Nielsen BuzzMetrics, an Internet monitoring firm, reports
that 14 of the world’s top 15 pharmaceutical companies are already using its
services to track “buzz” about their products on blogs and other “consumer-
generated content” (i.e., bulletin boards, podcasts, etc.). As the healthcare
“blogosphere” expands, the influence of blogs may only increase.

Healthcare Blogs and Disease Management

Healthcare blogs are also having an impact on medical treatment. For example, a
number of physicians have developed blogs that provide information to healthcare
providers on how to manage common and rare medical conditions. These blogs are
highly ranked on major search engines and are widely read.

Blogs and Healthcare: More Than Hype

So, should healthcare executives, pharmaceutical companies and others believe the
hype about blogs? Maybe so, maybe not. However, at the very least, they should
learn as much as they can about what blogs mean for healthcare and think about
whether launching one is worth the effort. When it comes to blogs, knowledge is
power.

Fard Johnmar is founder of Envision Solutions, L.L.C., a full-service healthcare marketing communications consulting firm. Envision Solutions provides innovative products and services to not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. For more information and insights on blogs and healthcare, pick up a copy of Envision Solutions’ report, “The Emerging Healthcare Blogosphere:

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Healthcare & Blogs: Should We Believe The Hype?

Healthcare Plan Savings Discussed

During these times when hospital bills and professional doctors fee are high, medicines are expensive, and temptations for foods, drinks and vices are everywhere, staying healthy is a must. While some are gifted with good and healthy body, others struggle to maintain a healthy body. And with the price of healthcare plan contributing to the expenses we already have, there is a great need and knowledge on how to somehow cut the cost of healthcare plan.

Although you cannot do anything to bring down the price of your healthcare plan, you can manage to acquire significant saving by following these steps.

Stay Healthy – Yep! The golden rule if you want to live longer. Skeptical? Well, nobody blames you but if you would like to give you body a great chance of living beyond your life expectancy, staying healthy is worth the shot. If you aim to get a cheaper healthcare plan, then this is also a great way to achieve it. Since healthcare plan companies base the price of their plan on the status of the health of the individual, don’t be surprised if some might get higher rate than others. If you are conscious about it, then maintaining a healthy life could spare you from high healthcare plan rate.

Quit Smoking – Now that’s difficult! But if you are a kind of person who will do anything just to keep the healthcare plan rate to the minimum, you can always start by kicking the habit away. So what does it have to do with low healthcare plan? A person who smokes is more prone to healthcare claims than those who do not. And if you understand the business, you would realize that healthcare plan companies receive more claims from smoking plan holders. The tendency is to sanction higher healthcare plan rates to those who smoke. Think about it! If you quite smoking, you save from healthcare plan bills, spare you from the cost of your everyday cigarette consumption, and give you a better chance to live cleaner and longer life.

Exercise and Lose Weight- If you are part of the growing number of Americans who can either be classified as overweight or obese, then expect to have a higher healthcare plan price. It is wise to keep a normal body size and maintain it with regular exercise so you can get a desired healthcare plan rate.

Good healthcare plan selection – If it’s cheap, it does not necessarily mean it’s really “cheap.” Never let the price be your basis in taking a healthcare plan. As much as possible look for plan that gives you more benefits at the price advantageous to you.

Maximize other existing plan – If you presently have health insurance plan, make sure that you avoid getting another one with an identical coverage. This would surely drain your pockets by having unnecessary benefits you can never use. Also avoid buying unnecessary healthcare plan if you already have enough plan.

Know the type of plan you are buying – If you are buying healthcare plan for the first time, you should identify first the type of coverage you want. In this way, you can eliminate those unnecessary coverage you think you can never use. Remember that every coverage is paid so making sure that you can the healthcare plan that fits your need.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Healthcare Plan Savings Discussed