Should Your Organization Sell Health Care Subscriptions?

How many subscription memberships do you have? With very little thought, many come to mind—Netflix, HBO, Hello Fresh, Amazon Prime, Kindle Direct, and Consumer Reports to name a few. And the subscription market is expanding—bacon, clothing, shoes, beauty products, wine, and more. The subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100% a year over the past five years, with the largest players reaching $2.6 billion in sales (see The State Of The Subscription Economy, 2018).

Now, consider subscription health care, where consumers can pay a weekly, quarterly, or yearly fee to receive some type of health care services. These models give consumers a way to budget for specific health care costs and gives provider organizations a consistent, reoccurring stream of revenue. Subscription health care can take on many different forms to cover a variety of different services, including software, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, concierge care, and direct primary care (see Subscription Medicine: On-Demand Healthcare For Everyone and Digital Healthcare In A Subscription-Based Economy).

Let’s think more about direct primary care (DPC) models. These models provide consumers with access to primary care services for a flat fee—or as the American Academy of Family Physicians defines it, “a meaningful alternative to fee-for-service insurance billing, typically by charging patients a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee … [that] covers all or most primary care services including clinical and laboratory services, consultative services, care coordination, and comprehensive care management” (see The Direct Primary Care Model: How It Works).

 

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