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The United States is witnessing an unprecedented number of acquisitions, mergers, and seemingly unbridled growth of mega-health care organizations.  Undeniably there are fewer health care dollars now than a decade, or two, ago.  Larger metropolitan hospitals are merging their boards in order to dominate their region’s industry.  Smaller hospitals are finding that their traditional community-orientated health care model is no longer financially viable.

If you are a small or even mid-sized hospital, what do you do when a larger health care organization sets its sights on your market?

Two things you don’t do:

  1. Continue to do what you have been doing because it has been working just fine.  This is the complacency model.
  2. Attempt to go toe-to-toe with matching services.  This is the suicide model.

In both cases, the larger organization will find ways to beat you.  Simply put, they have more resources than you in money, people, influence, and time.

So what do you do?

  1. Create a new product or innovative approach and strongly market it so that any attempt to do the same will seem lame and duplicitous in comparison.
  2. Find a niche product that would require too much effort and expense for the larger organization to duplicate.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use the “local card” when marketing.  Examples include:
  • We are part of your community…
  • We know you and your family…
  • We share the same values…
  • We only care about you…
  • We are friendly, familiar, and part of your community…

Many consumers still respond positively to supporting community and locally-focused providers even at the expense of flying in the face of the old adage that the true experts are at least a 50 mile drive from home.

A giant is at the door of your hospital, what do you do?