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Monday, July 6, 2015

The Economics of Healthcare Conferences

I've read a number of recent blog posts recently complaining about the lack of access patients have to various healthcare conferences.  The economics don't work, either for the patients, or for the organizers.  For most people who go to conferences, their employer gets a lot of value out of them going, and so is willing to cough up thousands of dollars worth of travel expenses and conference fees. But patients don't have that sort of support, and are often giving more then they are getting in terms of value.

That value, while immeasurable, is also unmeasureable, and so conference organizers have a hard time comping patients, or even making for an affordable entrance price.  The challenge for those patients who want to be engaged is that while they want to be part of the conversation, the value proposition for their entry hasn't been made adequately.  There has to be adequate value given for value received.

In part, I think that is because the business of healthcare has largely ignored the patient.  What are more important are the employers, the payers, the big providers, and yes, the vendors, who all make money off the Healthcare market.  And for conferences, it's all about how to make more money, isn't it.  And we know patients aren't the ones footing the bill, right?

We need a different economic model overall for healthcare in this country, but until we have one, I think we are going to be stuck with this story.  At least until someone comes along and figures out how to make a buck off having patients at their conference.


P.S.  Unless a smart patient can figure out how to make the economics work for both parties.

1 comment:

  1. A great deal of money is spent by insurance companies to educate people on fire safety, car safety, etc. That model is time-proven. It should also work for healthcare.

    Employers and government agencies who are footing the bill and the insurance companies both have an economic stake in reducing health care costs. Fostering better patients is one way to do it. They need to pony-up.