The Role of ‘Referral Fee’ in Healthcare Marketing

Referral Fee has always been one of the most controversial issue in the Marketing of Healthcare Services in India.

Large tertiary care hospitals derive much of their revenue from patients who are admitted in the hospital. The revenue comes from the room rent (that the hospital charges from the patients), the surgical fee, the anaesthetist’s fee, the Operating room charges, the investigations that the patients need during their stay in the hospital and the medicines and other sundry consumables that are used by the patients.

Patients who need admission rarely walk into the hospital requesting admission. They generally come through the Emergency Room (the ER) or are referred by their family physicians or other specialists who practice outside the hospital. Many a times patients are also referred by smaller secondary care hospitals or nursing homes.    Continue reading

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The Marketing of a Hospital

Before I get into the business of writing about the Marketing of a Hospital in India I must establish my credentials.

I have been working in the arena of Marketing of Heathcare Services for the last 8 years or so. I have been involved with Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd., which is the franchisor of Apollo Clinics part of the Apollo Hospitals Group, headed the Marketing and later the Corporate and International Sales for Max Healthcare a large healthcare services company based in Delhi and for the last two years have been heading the Sales and Marketing function at Artemis Health Institute, a tertiary care hospital based in Gurgaon and promoted by the Apollo Tyres group.

When I started working for Apollo Hospitals as the Marketing Manager for The Apollo Clinics and later at Max Healthcare I was often asked the question as to what really a Marketing person did in a hospital. Marketing of hospitals was understood to be a big no no. If you had a good hospital infrastructure and some well known doctors working for you the conventional wisdom dictated that the patients will follow.   Continue reading

Books and Me

The Hindustan Times this morning carries a very intersting oped piece written by Saumya Bhattacharya.

Mr. Bhattacharya is worried about the present generation shunning books in favour of many other mundane activities such as watching inane (and often revolting) soaps on the idiot box, spending time ‘poking’ ‘hugging’, ‘cuddling’ (and God knows what else) on Facebook and surfing the net for all kinds of trivia.   Continue reading

Abhinav Bindra and the defeat in SriLanka

Yesterday evening as I switched on the television to watch the evening newscast, I caught the sports news on one of the leading satellite channels.

The channel was going ga ga over Abhinav Bindra who had earlier in the day created history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal at the ongoing Beijing Olympics in the men’s 10 m air rifle event. Abhinav is the first Indian gold medallist in the Olympics in an individual sport. The channels were busy introducing us to his coach, telecasting comments from his sister, friends, teachers and other folks who have contributed to his success. One couldn’t help but feel pride in Abhinav’s achievement.     Continue reading