Competition in Health Care
Competition is always live and well enhanced especially in the current world, and even the health sectors have not been left behind. The essence of competition in healthcare is to make sure good services are offered to customers. Good services will always be rewarded since failure to meet higher health standards will chase away the customers. According to Porter & Teisberg (2004) “If both parties, provider and patient, are put in consideration and in combination with efficient market use, higher health standards will be attained” (p 69). This competition can elicit positive or unconstructive influence. If not well planned and executed, it can lead to poor services and thus not enhancing good health to all, which should be the main aim of anyone intending to venture into this field.
Competition within the health sector can take different and distinct forms. It may range from the different organizations that provide health care, specialist and physician and medical plans and medical doctors. Competition is also depicted among different health practitioner and between the organizations, which ensures a provision of good and affordable health services. A hospital may compete with another hospital either public or private in an attempt to attract more customers and thus higher profits. After all, as supported by Dutton, Ashford, O’Neill & Lawrence (2001), “the aim of the competition is to outdo the competitor in order to get more return” (p. 731).
Competition in health sectors has both advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages are; Competition causes the cost of health services to reduce considerably. According to the demand law, a lower price leads to a higher demand and the reverse holds. Therefore, a given health care specialist will have to lower the cost of his or her products in order to win more patients. Furthermore, competition enhances customer’s provider relations. Since the customers have a series of choices to select from, providers will do anything possible to ensure customer satisfaction. This will in the long run lead to quality and affordable health care services. As per Song, Barlow, Seiber & McAlearney (2010), “ insurance companies competing in offering health insurance policies may favor the customers, as they will lower the cost of insurance plans at considerably lower levels” (p 309).
On the other hand, if not well managed, competition may prove to be a costly venture that may hinder growth and development of health organization and destroy the true spirit of competition in a free market. It may not lead to guarantee patience satisfaction nor high-quality services. From the business point of view, the main aim of a competition is outsmarting the competitor with an aim of gaining more profit. In the process, it may lead to offering of substandard services aiming to reduce the expenses. In many cases, blackmail has been used in an attempt to attract or win a customer from a competitor. These makes the whole business unprofessional, unethical, and such practices should be discouraged under all cost as it betrays the will of fair competition.
In addition, it may fix a health provider or organization in a tough financial situation in order to achieve higher standards and ensure the provision of high-quality services. By use of comprehensive and proper systems which may attract large sums of money to purchase and install. In turn, profit column may diminish and thus destroy the essence of being in the real business especially with private providers.
Successful competition should be of much benefit between the two sides. According to Gaynor & Town (2011), “Patience should always get good, quality and affordable services while on the other hand, providers should be able to attain their goals” (p.12). The major reason behind successful and healthy competition is always to make sure that quality services are rendered to the customers. Although this is the aim of real competition, it may have two distinct influences both on the services offered and the choices the presence can afford. A health provider or a hospital may upgrade the standard of their services in order to beat off competition from upcoming competitor. For instance, he or she may include any offer for subsequent customers who in turn would prefer a continued treatment instead of starting a new one. In contrast, poor services may be offered especially where the provider does not have qualified personnel or appropriate machines to counter a given disease or a disorder. A competitive scenario gives a patient a range of choices to choose from when in need of health services. It can be on the basis of affordability or the standards of the services. Although many patients would uphold quality instead of cost especially on health matters, competition ensures that both go hand in hand.
To sum up, through competition, good and reliable services are offered by health organizations and different providers. Providers who guarantee considerably lower prices, customer relations and satisfaction command good returns and continued customer in flow. Any realistic and reasonable patient would always look for services where they are sure of gains and proper treatment. After the competition, the customer or the patient is always the benefiting party and thus free competition within the health sector should not be discouraged, but only when it is free and fair.
Gaynor, M., & Town, R. J. (2011). Competition in health care markets (No. w17208). National
bureau of economic research.
J., O’Neill, R. M., & Lawrence, K. A. (2001). Moves that matter: Issue selling and organizational
change. Academy of Management Journal, 44(4), 716-736.
Porter, M. E., & Teisberg, E. O. (2004). Redefining competition in health care. Harvard business
Song, P. H., Barlow, J. D., Seiber, E. E., & McAlearney, A. S. (2010). Competition in Health
Care. Health Systems Policy, Finance, and Organization, 309.Dutton, J. E., Ashford, S.