Tuesday, March 28, 2006

For Profit Cancer Centers

In a recent article, Business Week takes a look at a growing trend, for-profit cancer specific centers such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America. CTCA is based outside of Chicago and provides a service specifically geared to end stage cancer patients who have been given no other hope by their own Oncologists. Its not so much that they offer any treatment greater than everyone else but they offer what the patient has lost; HOPE.

What I find specifically interesting about the article is contained in the second to last paragraph,

" The privately held company eschews physician referrals and advertises to people with late-stage cancer, promising to do almost anything they want to combat the disease."

If you talk to any administrator, they will tell you that this as your sole business strategy will never work. But, yet it is for CTCA albeit on a national basis. It makes you wonder if you indeed inform the patient enough about your services through marketing can you circumvent the normal referral process. Our organization subscribes to the non-marketing strategy. It's like pulling teeth to get them to market to the public. What they don't understand is that cancer patients are probably the most informed patients in the marketplace. If marketing to the public didn't work, you wouldn't be seeing umpteen (southern colloquialism) ads for Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis.

But I digress.