Competition, Marketing Mix, and Pricing
Competition, Marketing Mix, and Pricing
Key Characteristics of the Users of the Products and/or Services of UCSF
Being a leading health care center in San Francisco and Northern California, UCSF receives different kinds of patients from different parts of the world. Due to its collaboration with San Francisco University, the hospital does not only receive and treat patients but also train medical doctors and other health personnel as well as ensure continued medical research. The hospital is self-supported and it does all that it takes to provide high quality services to its consumers. As a result, the hospital receives all kinds of patients ranging from mare to complex health needs, the young and the old, and it has ensured that it has the necessary facilities to meet the diverse patient requirements. It also cares for the financially challenged patients.
The hospital mission statement also tells us more about the kinds of patients it receives. The mission is stated in four words: caring, healing, teaching and discovering. We can conclude that sick patients go the hospital to seek medical treatment depending on what they are suffering from. Others need care due to conditions such as mental illness, physical challenges and chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Some other patients go to seek information about a given condition. The hospital provides teaching on various health issues. It is known to be Northern California’s first nationally designated Women’s Health Center of Excellence, offering women health education and specialized care. Some patients are characterized by low income, under-insured or homeless and the hospital provides free health screening to children from such families.
Medical students benefit a lot from the kind of training and research offered by the hospital in collaboration with the University of California and other partners within and globally. The hospital has also employed up to 30,000 individuals to serve at various capacities. It also pays on temporary terms skilled nurses, dialysis attendants, assisted living among others to patients on low income to ensure that they are discharged safely and are assured of continued recovery.
Competitive Environment of UCSF
The competition that aims at improving health care performance is a factor of adequate price and quality information, and the consumer’s ability to interpret this information (Barros, P. P. et al, 2015). UCSF has always positioned itself to ensure that it provides high quality services to its consumers. Through its collaboration with one of the best universities in San Francisco, the hospital ensures continued medical research and the transformation of the research work into cure solutions for its patients. The university has also ensured that high levels of training are offered to medical practitioners to be able to offer the best services to the hospital. As many hospitals struggle through research and acquiring the best physicians, UCSF has already established itself in research and training making it to stand a better position in the competitive health sector.
In terms of finances, the hospital has done well enough to beat financial predictions and moves on to maintain the same. This has enabled the hospital to invest in the best health care technology as well as top projects and programs to benefit its consumers. Some other health centers could be struggling to raise enough capital to acquire equivalent programs and equipment. UCSF makes itself ready to tackle any future challenges to ensure the best health care provision as well as high standards of research and education. In 2014, Sam Hawgood who was the dean of the UCSF School of Medicine, actually quoted that they were in control, that they understood the financial picture and that they were in a good position for the future. He also said that they had the tools and the data that placed them in a good position provided they made the right strategic plans.
Course of Action for Strategic Marketing Success.
To further improve patient care, the hospital has to increase its network and make its operations known to even more people across the world. The hospital already partners with several care homes but still has to get other partners. It should also acquire destination centers for marketing its areas of high performance, for example, organ transplants. As Later could put it, they need to show to the world their high quality and cost-effective care. They also ought to expand their care access as well as grow in volume and uplift their Bay Area Marketplace position.
Marketing Mix for UCSF Hospital
Marketing is a very crucial aspect in any organization. It enables the company to be known from different places and consequently expects its consumers to increase. A marketing strategy is chosen according to what the company offers and its target audience. Marketing mix was originally defined with 4 Ps; product, price, promotion and place but later included packaging and positioning. Hospital marketing is increasingly becoming very competitive and it is upon every hospital to choose what it will make it outstanding in the competitive market.
UCSF is is one well-known hospital for continuously striving to offer high quality care services. Product and price would definitely be the best approach to make itself known. Many care consumers seek the best services but with low costs. UCSF should be able to outline its best products/ services to the public. The hospital has the best physicians, the best technology and its high-quality research is transformed into innovative curing solutions. The public needs to be assured of quality affordable products/ services and this has been one of the goals of UCSF health care. Ensuring that the products offered are appropriate and the prices are reasonable depending on the target individuals give any company an easy time in marketing itself. For a hospital set up, these two strategies are the most appropriate because health consumers look for high quality and affordable products/ services.
Best Possible Pricing Strategy
Price refers to the monetary value that one has to incur in order to acquire a product or a service or the amount in which providers/ suppliers charge to provide a service (Garrison, L. P., & Towse, A., 2017). Pricing on the other hand is a terminology used by marketers to determine the best price of a service or product. In marketing, pricing is used to calculate the maximum amount that a consumer is willing to pay a given service. It involves balancing between what the consumer is ready to pay and what the seller is accepting without compromising on the competitive market. Pricing could be cost-based, demand-based, competition-based or value-based. Some of the pricing strategies include: Pricing at a Premium, Pricing for Market Penetration, Economy Pricing, Price Skimming, Psychology Pricing and bundle pricing.
Unlike other consumer markets where item prices are displayed against, the products, hospital prices are not always clearly defined due to numerous procedures that might be undertaken while caring for a patient. In most cases, patients are given the care they need and price calculations done later just before the patient is discharged. Families have many at times been taken by surprise when they receive a bill they were not expecting. Families in most cases are not prepared for the final price communication. This is why I think that bundle pricing should be employed in our hospitals and it will be a good pricing strategy for UCSF, being one of the best health care givers and which receives patients from all over the world.
Bundle pricing give a cumulative price for every product or service. If every hospital product, service or procedure is quoted beforehand, it makes it easy for the consumers to know what to expect and to prepare themselves early accordingly. They are not left in the dark hoping that the bills do not escalate to certain amounts. Bundling also maintains price consistently and improves organization and work flow within the health care facility. I also think that this bundle pricing should be based on value. Every quoted price should be determined by the value the consumer is going to receive from the product or service. The higher the value, the higher the quoted prices. However, the hospital should equally have in mind consumer affordability. The patient is the important person who should get maximum satisfaction (Sreenivas T. et al, 2014).
Barros, P. P., Brouwer, W. B., Thomson, S., & Varkevisser, M. (2015). Competition among health care providers: helpful or harmful?. The European journal of health economics : HEPAC : health economics in prevention and care, 17(3), 229-33.
Garrison, L. P., & Towse, A. (2017). Value-Based Pricing and Reimbursement in Personalized Healthcare: Introduction to the Basic Health Economics. Journal of personalized medicine, 7(3), 10. doi:10.3390/jpm7030010
Sreenivas T., Srinivasarao B., & Srinivasa R. (2014). International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences: An Analysis on Marketing Mix in Hospitals. ISSN: 2278-6236
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HSA 305 Assignment 2 Competition Marketing Mix and Pricing.docx