Healthcare Marketing: What You Can and Cannot Do

Author: William Mack Copeland
Healthcare marketing is growing by leaps and bounds with new and improved strategies sprouting day in and day out. Before adopting any new marketing tactic, a healthcare organization must comprehend its pros and cons. In order to get an insight on how to be selective on the best strategy, here are certain tips on the dos and don’ts on healthcare marketing.
1. Discount strategies
Discount strategies must be properly disclosed on cost reports. Discount strategies must be accurately reported, in full and must be in the form of a price reduction in the vendor’s goods or services based on an arm’s length transaction; includes goods purchased under group purchasing arrangements (GPOs); and should not be confused with administrative fees paid by vendors to GPOs.
2. Personal Services and Management Contracts
In providing personal services and management contracts, the following provisions must be met: There is an executed, written agreement that specifies the services provided, their schedule and the exact charges.The term of the agreement must be at least one year, with compensation set in advance and based on fair market value, not the volume or value of referrals.The services performed must not include counselling or promotion of activities that violate the Act.An agent is defined as anyone, other than a bona fide employee, who has an agreement to perform services for or on behalf ofa principal.
3. Group Purchasing Organization
For group purchasing of healthcare products, an organization must have a written agreement with each member, providing either the maximum fee paid by vendors or exceeding 3% or if exceeds 3%, specifying the amount or maximum paid by each vendor. Provide members an annual statement specifying amount received from each vendor for purchases on behalf of a member.
4. Space and Equipment Rental requirements
A set of four standards must be met in space and equipment rental requirements. The standards are: 1. There is an executed, written agreement that specifies the premisescovered by the lease. 2. Access to the space or equipment must be for the total lease period or if it is for periodic intervals, these intervals must be set in advance and be specific as to their schedule, precise length, and exact rent. 3. The lease must be for at least a period of one year and not subject to readjustment on the basis of the number of referrals. 4. Charges must reflect fair market value, be set in advance, and must be determined in a manner that does not take into account the volume or value of referrals and does not reflect the value of being close to the source of referrals. The fundamental step in any business is seeking Office of Inspector General (OIG) advisory opinion. OIG Advisory Opinions decides the destiny of any marketing plan.

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