The macro-marketing system that links medical consumers, providers, regulators and payors is perhaps more complex and difficult to manage than those involved with traditional consumer or industrial products. The complexities of the health care macro-marketing system are characterized through four sectors. Sector 1 in the system is composed of the INITIATORS of medical technologies and innovation such as medical research centers, universities, and the pharmaceutical firms as examples. Sector 2, the SUPPLIERS in the system, adapt the technologies and commercialize them for application in the medical delivery systems. Sector 3, the PROVIDERS, apply technologies which are made available to servicing the needs of the consumer market. Sector 4 is the health care CONSUMER who is the recipient of the end product of the systemic output which ideally is being targeted to provide the necessary diagnosis and treatment. Some threads traverse the entire system, these are the flows of payment at all levels (the patient seldom pays) and government regulations which affect activity in all sectors of the system. The application of marketing systems’ concepts has the potential to reconcile differences in health care delivery including such dilemmas as cost containment, distribution, and equality. As such, systems thinking can help redefine the issues in light of free enterprise and governmental roles, as well as provide a basis by which the health care recipient may participate in health care to a great extent.
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- Improve the Health Care Macro-System through Micro-Marketing: A Physician/Marketer’s Viewpoint
Richard A. Wright
Bruce H. Allen