Billboards posting ER wait times are pricey marketing tools
The battle of the emergency room billboards is being waged on our roadways.
"Why Wait LongER?" asks a billboard on northbound Interstate 95 near 45th Street. It lists live emergency room wait times for Columbia Hospital, JFK Medical Center and Palms West Hospital. You also can use your cellphone to text "ER" to 23000 and receive a text with the wait times for the hospitals.
Nearby is a "More than Just Fast ER" sign advertising St. Mary's Medical Center. Southbound, there are three more billboards - for St. Mary's, Columbia and Good Samaritan Medical Center - all within in a 5-mile stretch.
At as much as $10,000 per month per billboard, these ads are a big investment.
Why the ER advertising? On the surface, the idea doesn't make sense. Selecting an emergency room isn't like choosing a supermarket or department store. In some cases, it's not a choice. People who have a heart attack, stroke or other similar emergency usually don't get to decide where paramedics take them.
- $6.4B Henry Ford, Beaumont Merger Failed on Cultural Hurdles
- How Chargemaster Data May Affect Hospital Revenue
- House Lawmakers Grill CMS Over Health Exchange Navigators
- Fortunately, Angelina Jolie Isn't On Medicare
- ED Physicians Key to Half of Hospital Admissions
- Don't Let Nurses Sink Your Bottom Line
- Primary Care Docs Average More Hospital Revenue Than Specialists
- Insurer's App Aims to Lower Healthcare Costs, Securely
- Uncompensated Care Faces a Double Hit in Some States
- 69% of Employers Plan to Offer Healthcare Coverage After 2014