Healthcare is a bitch. I don’t have to tell you that, but I will from the perspective of a brand strategist.
My health insurance provider is Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, and I pay a hefty fee for coverage for my family and myself each month. The brand promise of any healthcare provider that your family will be provided with a level of comfort and service. Comfort in that your family knows that, in case of catastrophic illness, your spouse and children will be taken care of and you’ll have the comfort in “knowing” that a visit to your family physician will cost us only our co-pay.
Well, that brand promise is now gone. Consider this:
A few months back, I received a call from my primary physician informing me of his change in practice from that of a general practitioner to that of an “Executive Physician.” The idea is that to continue to use my family doctor, not only do I have to pay the co-pay from my insurance, but an additional $1,500 a year each for my wife and myself – and an additional $750 for each of my two children.
This fee entitles me to hour long visits, even though I really want shorter visits – not longer ones. I also get his personal cell number and pager number in case of emergences. I never knew he unavailable when I needed him before. Apparently, he was.
My now-former doctor simply could not make a living on the co-pay of patients and the remittance given him by the medical insurance companies. He believed that he would have to take on too many patients and deliver less than adequate care to simply make a living and have enough cash on hand to pay his malpractice insurance. So he changed his model and I was forced to changed doctors.
Sad, I liked him. I don’t like my insurance company. And now the brand promises of comfort and service has been threatened.