Advertising is how companies get noticed and how they gain market share in competitive markets. If you listen to local radio, you will surely hear insurance companies, drug companies and hospitals advertising for your business.
Does this really help healthcare and what percentage of our healthcare dollars are being spent to entice us to prefer one facility over another?
In the case of the highly priced world of treating cancer, apparently there has been a huge increase in the amount cancer treatment centers like Sloan Kettering are spending on image and treatment advertising. According to Fox news, cancer hospitals are spending three times what they spent in 2005 which was $173 million dollars.
While cancer treatment in the USA is in the billions, combine this with the amount insurers are spending, and drug companies are spending to show us their preferred image, and then consider how much of this we are paying extra for care that is also costly, something is going terribly wrong.
Also, they are advertising treatments that may be of little worth to anyone, but are costly to all of us, all under the umbrella of healthcare. Consumers beware.
Check out this recent article from Fox News.
Cancer hospital advertising triples since 2005
Published July 12, 2016 Reuters
Between 2005 and 2014, U.S. cancer centers upped their spending on ads targeting the general public, with 890 centers spending $173 million on ads by 2014, according to a new analysis.
Spending more than tripled since 2005 and was highly concentrated among a small number of cancer centers, said study coauthor Laura B. Vater of Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.
In 2014, 20 of those 890 cancer centers, including big names like Cancer Treatment Centers of America, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, accounted for 86 percent of advertising spending.
Spending on advertising does not necessarily reflect quality of care, however, the authors note.
“Previous research has shown that cancer center advertisements use emotion-based techniques to influence viewers and often do not include information about benefits, risks, or costs of cancer treatment,” Vater told Reuters Health by email. “There is a concern among some physicians that such advertising may persuade patients to pursue high-cost treatments with a low likelihood of improving outcomes.”