Marketing Plan for a Hospital-Associated Assisted Living Marketing Plan

Pages: 8 (2125 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Marketing Plan for a Hospital-Associated Assisted Living Facility in Southeastern Michigan

The marketing plan contained herein is for a proposed assisted living facility to be attached to a current operational hospital facility in the southeastern region of the state of Michigan. A broad overview of the proposed facility's organizational structure is followed by discussion of the impact of the economy on the industry, currently noticeable trends in both qualitative and quantitative analysis of the long-term care and assisted living market, and an analysis of the competition in the region specifically as well as in the industry as a whole. Specific problems are also listed, as re effective means of addressing these issues and taking advantage of current opportunities as suggested by research into the area and published literature on the subject. Abundant opportunity is indicated for the facility, and steps for exploiting these opportunities are listed.

Introduction

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Assisted living facilities for the elderly and the disabled provide a very valuable service to the community, and often prove very financially successful in doing so. Because of this, a large number of assisted living facilities exist in most regions of the country, and though the quality and expense of these facilities can differ greatly there is still a great deal of competition seen amongst these business organizations. An effective marketing plan is a necessity for any proposed organization. The plan contained herein will prove an effective means for marketing a new assisted living facility attached to a hospital in southeastern Michigan.

Management Summary

TOPIC: Marketing Plan on Marketing Plan for a Hospital-Associated Assisted Living Assignment

The assisted living facility will be organized in a highly centralized fashion, with administrative and to some degree medical duties shared with the adjoining hospital. At the same time, effort will be made to ensure that the assisted living facility operates on a semi-independent level, allowing for innovation in the management of the facility as a whole and even at the employee-level, creating a greater responsiveness both to client needs and to changing financial environments, as is recommended for efficiency and quality in assisted living facilities (ALFA 2010). The size of the organization will allow for a fairly high degree of individual innovation, and innovation within the overall management of the assisted living facility as semi-independent form the hospital, while retaining a high degree of quality control and adequate monitoring through a centralized structure.

Levels of needed care and monitoring for those living in assisted living facilities can vary greatly, making staffing needs difficult to predict with extreme accuracy (Ginzler 2010). The attachment of the facility described herein to an operational hospital, however, provides an adequate flexibility to the staffing capabilities of the facility, allowing for a lessened degree of volatility and variability in the direct staffing needs of the facility. In addition to a modicum of administrative staff, numbering less than ten, caretaking and medical staff -- including support staff that will be shared with the hospital for many tasks -- will add an additional thirty employees, approximately, to cover maintenance and caretaking needs on all shifts (ALS 2007).

Economic Projections

The recent economic downturn was felt by assisted living and senior care providing industries as sharply as it was felt in most other sectors; two of the nation's largest corporations involved in the industry were recently faced with large budgetary deficits due to inefficiencies in their operations and inconsistencies in their accounting practices that caught up to the companies when consumer spending dropped drastically (Moffeit 2009). These recessionary influences are not expected to be a problem for this facility, however, as the size of the operation will minimize risks of such spending and accounting mishaps. In addition, assisted living can be a cost-effective choice for a necessity of life; providing a high-quality service to consumers at a reasonable rate can prove not only possible, but profitable -- capital outlay for the facility is minimal given its hospital attachment, and recoupment is expected to begin immediately.

Market Analysis: Qualitative

The diverse needs of assisted living consumers continues to evolve nationwide and in the state of Michigan specifically, with a wide array of programs and levels of assistance available at nearly five-thousand extant and operational programs across the state (MALA 2010). Changing needs and an increasing emphasis on accountability when it comes to the quality of care have increased scrutiny of the industry and can actually create market opportunities for the right company with the right image (NCAL 2010; ALFA 2010). By positioning itself as a high-quality medical and support care provider, this facility can take advantage of this circumstance.

Market Analysis: Quantitative

Over forty-thousand individuals currently make direct use of currently registered assisted living programs in the state of Michigan, and this number is on the rise (MALA 2010). Though a price drop occurred due to the restraint of consumer spending and available capital as a result of the recent economic downturn, market demand for this essential service has not decreased, and prices have again stabilized and are prepared to begin a slow yet steady increase (Moffeit 2009; AHCA 2010). The southeastern region of the state of Michigan, where this facility will be located, is only sparsely served by assisted living facilities, with many counties containing only one or even no such services (ALI 2010). With current market growth and this under-servicing, a large opportunity exists for a dedicated facility.

Trend Analysis

The recent rise in demand for assisted living facility space and other long-term care options and requirements seen in recent years is due largely to the aging of the so-called "baby boomer" generations, the bulk of whom are only now beginning to reach retirement age (UFN 2008). For many individuals and families, assisted living is a necessity, and often the most cost-effective alternative out of the available options for many situations (AARP 2010; Ginzler 2010). These facts make the simple aging of the population in the United States a near-automatic increasing force of the demand for assisted living care and space, contributing significantly to the upward trend currently witnessed in the assisted living market.

An estimated seventy percent of individuals reaching the age of sixty five will need some form of long-term care during their elderly years, and many of these individuals will seek to receive this care in an assisted living community or facility (UFN 2008). Though existing and emerging technologies, as well as an increasing multigenerational technological fluency, have increased the personal freedom and latitude available to many aging individuals in need of some sort of long-term care, somewhat depressing the growth trend in the assisted living market, these effects are not significant when compared to the overall growth of the aging population and their need for long-term care (UFN 2010; AHCA 2010). The market for assisted living services is projected to expand over the next twenty years, with the trend currently observed as underway only expected to increase (UFN 2010).

Competition

As mentioned above, the southeastern region of Michigan is underserviced by currently existing assisted living facilities (ALI 2010). Though the competition in the industry as a whole is a prominent feature that most organizations operating in the industry must address, proximity to family and current/previous homes is often a prime consideration in choosing an assisted living facility (Ginzler 2010). The dearth of assisted living facilities in the targeted region will reduce the level of competition experienced by this particular facility, and its attachment to a hospital provides it with a unique advantage, particularly in the market niche of high-risk patients and those with more pressing medical situations.

Problems and Opportunities

One of the major problems faced in any assisted living facility organization is quality control, especially during times of economic downturn and a loss of corporate profits, which can often lead to decisions being made by far-removed executives with immediate and highly negative consequences for individual facilities and their patients/consumers (Moffeit 2009; NCAL 2010; AARP 2010). The provision of adequate medical monitoring and care as well as the overall treatment of patients residing in the facility are key areas of concern; finding an effective price point at which consumers receive a desired level of economic value from the service while the company is still able to operate at a profit and provide a high-quality service is another feature of the problem (ALFA 2010).

Addressing these issues in a clear and direct manner actually provides any facility within the industry with a large opportunity, especially given the current economic situation and market trend. Retirement capital and other consumer funds are on the rise again, enabling slightly higher prices to more efficiently cover the costs of care at assisted living facilities. For the properly positioned organization, this can translate into a large opportunity for profitability over the short- and long-terms through the consistent provision of quality care. Consumer choice is more enabled by increasing financial resources, and at the same time scrutiny of the industry continues to increase; a facility that is able to project the desired image of quality and integrity to consumers will be highly competitive and likely obtain a large market… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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