- Hospitals are recognizing women as the lead healthcare decision makers of families, and some have begun tailoring services to appeal to women to capture their patronage. According to the US Department of Labor, women are responsible for more than 80% of healthcare decisions, including choosing doctors.
- Two New Jersey hospitals, Virtua and Cooper University Health Care, are competing with perks such as female doctors, tailored wellness programs and spa-like settings. Virtua is also providing on-site child care while Cooper's Ripa Center for Women's Health and Wellness provides fitness classes and computer cubicles for use while patients wait for appointments.
- While plenty of hospitals have focused on women's health before, the stand-out trend now is the highly personalized and comprehensive approach being taken; for example, centralized communication for multiple specialties and patient "navigators" to help guide women through the system and all of its offerings.
Using marketing strategies to bring in women, and by extension their families, has its supporters and detractors.
Alan Zuckerman, president of Philadelphia-based consulting firm Health Strategies & Solutions, suggests that such marketing may lack viability long-term because insurers play such a large role in which provider their consumers can ultimately select.
As Zuckerman tells The Inquirer, these programs "may find themselves going after affluent consumers who can pay in cash. I think it's a little dicey," he says.
Not everyone agrees. "It's a marketing ploy, but I think it's a good one," physician Paula Stillman, a consultant and former Temple University Health executive, says. "It makes people more comfortable to go into services for women, to people who are more sensitive to women."