Post 4 - Why Medical Fitness? Your Tough Questions Answered.
AN IN-DEPTH SERIES ABOUT THE HOWS AND WHYS OF
MEDICALLY-BASED FITNESS AND WELLNESS
“Wellness? Preventive medicine? Sounds good, but eventually, even the most healthy people get old, get sick and then die. 28% of healthcare dollars are spent on a patient’s last year of life. At the end of the day, can any money really be saved?” This means that 72% of healthcare dollars are consumed by non-terminal patients and we know that 70% of those patients are being treated for preventable, lifestyle-related conditions. The potential for savings through preventive interventions and adoption of healthy lifestyles is enormous.
“We’re a hospital. Our core competence and income stream is related to caring for the sick and injured. How will we make money by keeping people well?” In an accountable-care, capitated-payment world, prevention of disease might just be the only way to make money in healthcare.
“Membership in a medical fitness center is an expensive luxury that many in our community cannot afford. How do we justify a $15 million investment that will serve, at best, four or five thousand of our most affluent customers?” When these facilities are well-conceived, they will not only be self-sustaining, they will generate profits that can be diverted to support other important hospital health initiatives.
“Hospitals have many demands on limited capital resources. How do we finance this thing?” As with all real estate development, projects with strong business plans and creditworthy backing will attract financial support.
“Where will we get the members?” New members will come from the ranks of de-conditioned first-timers, rehab referrals, physician referrals, mainstream exercisers and friends/family of employees.
“How will we keep them as members?” Members will stay for a variety of reasons, including longevity, appearance, vitality, sports performance, social connections (member to member and member to staff), status and need for expertise regarding diet, exercise and safety.
“What are the returns on investment (ROI) for the hospital?” ROI includes community goodwill, brand status, increased brand awareness, new patient referrals, additional revenue/service lines and market share halo-effect, as well as significant new revenue streams and service lines.
THE A.C.A - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 has promised to bring increased access, improved quality and lower health care costs. Hospitals will see both a marked increase in patients and a decrease in reimbursement rates.
Up next time...Post 5 - Development - Gaining Organizational Support.