Hospitals compete for cancer patients

Hospitals in New York are marketing oncology services to attract cancer patients and gain market share, reported Crain's New York Business.

Cancer care competitors in the New York area, like New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital, must pit their cancer centers against the regional leader Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which has a 9 percent to 15 percent market share, the article noted.

Despite providing high-quality services, local rivals worry that privately insured cancer patients will avoid community hospitals for the more recognized Sloan-Kettering.

Hospitals therefore have started to increase advertising and marketing dedicated to oncology, according to Crain's New York. Even out-of-state hospitals such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America are launching ad campaigns to grow their cancer patient base. Meanwhile, Sloan-Kettering incorporates patient testimonials in its marketing strategy.

Hospitals may be thinking strategically about the cancer population. Advances in diagnosis and treatment have enabled patients to detect the disease earlier and survive longer, making them long-term hospital patrons. And with cancer rates doubling every ten years, there will be plenty of cancer patients for everyone, according to Sloan-Kettering CEO Craig Thompson.

Despite the advancements, the cost of cancer care continues to grow. A recent National Cancer Institute study estimates the cost of treating the 29 most common cancers in men and women to soar 27 percent by 2020, reported The Fiscal Times.

To learn more:
- read the Crain's New York article (registration required)
- read the Fiscal Times article