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Industry Analysis Case Study

Case Title:

John Q: In Quest of a Healthy Healthcare System

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: Saradhi Kumar Gonela and Dr.Nagendra V. Chowdary

Industry: Healthcare


Case Code: INA0124

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Highly suited for industry analysis segment of strategy course, John Q's story not only unravels US healthcare industry's travails but also sensitizes how an industry's prohibitive cost structure can play havoc in an individual's life.

What would a desperate middleclass father – caught in the web of health insurance, healthcare regulations and a quarter of a million hospital bill – do to save his son’s life? Question the system that cares much for the green buck than the kid’s life? Of course he does – but that falls agonisingly short of money required for the child’s heart transplantation. Then what? John Q shows Denzel Washington playing John Quincy (John Q), the worried father, taking extreme steps to save his child and become the lawbreaker. The story, told through John Q’s haplessness, reflects the untold stories of millions of others seeking a fair and just US healthcare system.

The case study unveils a tale of regulatory web of US health insurance companies and more importantly demonstrates mutually exclusive interests of healthcare insurance providers and healthcare service providers. As said by a male nurse, Maguire in the film – "Insurance companies basically want you healthy or dead. That's how they make money but your medical establishment, doctors, pharmaceutical companies - want you sick. That’s the way they make money."

This case study brings forth the conflicting interests of all parties involved in the US healthcare sector and the respective business models they employ in the quest of their interests. The case also puts forward arguments for and against these business models on the realms of morals and ethics.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To have an overview of the US Healthcare System – the channel partners, their business and revenue models, the regulatory authorities, etc. – and the challenges plaguing US Healthcare System, in the light of a series of conversations between John Q, Dr. Turner, Dr. Klein, Maguire, Payne, Denise and Mitch
  • To analyse the circumstances leading to Michael getting hospitalised and the traumatic moments that the parents, John Quincy and Denise Archibald, undergo to mobilise the required funds for treatment
  • To debate on whether John Q’s action of taking 11 patients for hostage in return for the hospital accommodating his demand – to get his son’s name on the recipient list as soon as possible – is moral and ethical
  • To explore and discuss various (workable) alternatives of making US Healthcare System:
    • Highly cost-efficient – to make it affordable to all in need notwithstanding the economic status
    • Structurally efficient, to get rid of the existing inefficiencies, by borrowing best practices from other nations

Keywords : Industry Analysis, Value Chain, Health Care Industry, Healthcare Industry's Value Chain, US Healthcare, US Healthcare Reforms, Obama's Healthcare Reforms, Health Insurance, Universal Healthcare, Healthcare Costs in US, HMOs, Movie-Based Case Studies

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