In an era of increased competition and declining reimbursements, we’re seeing hospitals across the nation reassess their service areas as part of a broader effort to uncover new growth opportunities. But when you talk with execs, planners and marketers about how they get from Point A to Point B in that process, you realize just how ‘static’ certain aspects of the strategic planning function remain.
A great example is physician alignment and network growth. In the past, figuring out which physicians were within a specified geographic area was time-consuming, to say the least. Think multiple printed maps, pushpins, outdated physician directories and then some sleuthing for good measure. But with access to the right data sets and dynamic mapping functionality, getting from Point A to Point B can be lot easier and better inform your decision making.
Tapping into Robust Data Sets
There are sophisticated web-based tools which enable you to leverage the dynamic connection between public and private data. Then you can create a framework for identifying service lines offering the most upside and lock in on unaffiliated physicians capable of driving growth. Here’s the 3-Step framework we see most frequently:
Step 1: Establish market share for major service lines
Step 2: Aggregate a list of participating physicians focused on the specific service line
Step 3: Rank order physicians (by volume) and identify those not affiliated with a health system
A Better Approach to Mapping the Physician Landscape
Exploring market share by zip code, you can visually assess areas of relative strength and weakness. A quick ‘click’ into a particular zip code reveals market share percentages across major service lines. So it becomes pretty easy to see areas of relative strength and weakness.
Let’s say cardiology is at the bottom – well below the market share levels for other service lines. With cardiology identified as the service line most in need of growth, flexible mapping tools help you to establish the boundaries of its search area, and then extract a list of physicians within the target area specializing in Cardiology.
Once the list of physician targets has been created, you can then access publicly available data sets to determine the volume and affiliation status of each physician. Check out the image to the right. With only a few clicks, we’ve gone from determining a service line prime for growth to a rank order of physicians and their affiliation status. In that list, I’m seeing:
- The top 3 cardiologists had volume levels in excess of 410 cases within the last 12 months
- None of the cardiologists in the top 3 are aligned with a hospital or health system
- Only 2 of the top 12 with either employed or aligned with a hospital or system
I now know where to put the bulk of my energy and resources when it comes to physician recruitment. That’s a huge boost when compared to how this process has worked in the past, and what can happen when the right data and the right tools come together to power performance improvement.
Want to see for yourself? Sign up for an INVISION Market Viewer demo and I’ll show you just how fast and easy understanding physician alignment can be.