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Bariatric Surgery: Assessing Opportunities for Value Innovation

By; David P. Tarantino, MD, MBA

Obesity has been increasing over the past two decades, and the amount of medical and media attention given to bariatric surgery as a promising option for morbidly obese individuals is growing. The growth of bariatric surgery also has been attributed to improved surgical technique, the increase in surgeons trained in laparoscopic procedures, as well increased public awareness with celebrities haven successfully undergone surgery. The number of surgeons and hospitals offering bariatric services is increasing. How then does a surgeon or a hospital develop a competitive strategy? The first step is to understand the health-care industry. The key forces are rivalry among present competitors, and the bargaining power of suppliers and buyers. While bariatric surgery currently is in a growth phase, time and competition will force practitioners to compete on the basis of price, unless they find true competitive advantage. Value innovation, is a means of creating new marketing space by looking across the conventionally defined boundaries of business-across substitute industries, across strategic groups, across buyer groups, across complementary product and service offerings, and across the functional emotional orientation of an industry. One can compete by offering similar services focusing primarily on cost efficiencies as the key to profitability. Alternatively, one can break free from the pack by innovating and focusing on delivering superior value to the customer. As the market for bariatric surgery becomes increasingly overcrowded, profitable growth is not sustainable without developing a clear differential advantage in the market. Value innovation allows you to develop that advantage.

Reprinted by permission of David P. Tarantino, MD, MBA, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, and Shock Trauma Associates; Loyola College in Maryland, Baltimore, MD; 11 S. Paca Street, Suite 500, Baltimore, MD 21201

 

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