The Society of Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) annual conference is the biggest healthcare strategy conference nationwide. With the goal of “composing the future of health care strategy,” it’s a must-attend event for healthcare marketing, communications, business development, and strategic planning professionals. Headed into its 23rd year, SHSMD Connections 2019 is taking place September 8 - 11 in our hometown, Nashville, TN.
Practical Guidance for Marketers and Planners Trying to Navigate Change
Healthcare mergers and acquisitions across the US continue at a rapid pace. According to Becker's Hospital Review, about $2.35 trillion in deals occurred globally [in 2018], up 57 percent compared to the same period last year. “Whether it’s hospitals buying up independent medical practices, hospital systems swallowing one another, or insurance companies merging with pharmacy chains, the prevailing attitude now is that bigger is better,” Medical Economics.
Gist Healthcare recently shared this graphic, which highlights how consolidated the hospital sector has become. Gist’s graphic displays how health systems account for more than 90 percent of all discharges in the US, with the largest 11 systems accounting for a quarter of discharges, and the largest 67 accounting for half.
How can healthcare strategic planners and marketers stay focused, yet flexible, during these times of consolidation and change? This post provides practical tips for how to deal with the inevitable challenges that will come during an integration. Key elements include:
- Uniting separate strategies
- Managing and merging multiple brands
- Using your influence to affect change
Effectively Leverage Your Data for Maximum Growth Insights
Are you asking the wrong questions of the right data; or the right questions of the wrong data? Most healthcare strategic planners understand the value of using data for informed decision making, but many don’t know how to effectively use data—or when to acquire new data—to find the answers they need.
When looking to assess market share or performance, you may feel the datasets you already have access to will provide the answers you need. But what if you don’t have the right data to answer these particular questions? Using the wrong data, you may miss important segments of your population in your analysis and risk using out-of-date or inconsistent data. A new data set all together may be needed to properly address the issues at hand.
Execute Your CHNA and Improve Community Health
One sentence in the Federal Register requirement for CHNAs (page 19, section 6, paragraph E) calls for “a description of the resources potentially available to address the significant health needs identified through the CHNA.” While this one line may seem innocuous at face value, after 9 years of performing CHNAs, I’ve seen this one little sentence take on significant importance in improving the health of communities.
Initially, this requirement was seen as just that, a requirement. However, communities are now seeing how little cross-communication of community resources takes place and how critical this communication is to providing valuable health resources to their residents. Hospitals and communities are beginning to use the Community Asset Inventory as an online catalog for community members who need access to practical, helpful health resources.
The Huggins Hospital Strategic Planning Success Story
Why the Benefits of Being Independent Can Outweigh Systemization
Independent hospitals face undeniable challenges in today’s stressful, competitive healthcare environment. The estimated 1,609 independent hospitals in the U.S. must go at it alone in the world of declining reimbursement, increasing expenses, declining inpatient volume, new competition, and provider shortages. Consider these stats:
- In 2018, hospital consolidations were up 11% from the first quarter of 2017
- Since 2010, hospital mergers and acquisitions are up 75% from 66 transactions in 2010 to 115 in 2017
- More than 85 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 and those closures were spread across more than 26 states
In the face of these challenges, a 2011 to 2015 Definitive Healthcare analysis identified a concerning trend: only 143 out of around 1,450 independent hospitals could be classified as “high-performing,” based on a median operating margin of at least four percent.
The benefits of systemization are well touted: increased efficiency, lower costs, increased quality, economies of scale, increased access to capital, greater talent and intellectual resources, increased leverage with payers resulting in increased reimbursement. However, there is debate around how recent megamergers will fail, and on March 16, 2016, Paul B. Ginsberg, lauded economist, testified before the California Senate Committee on Health on fostering competition in consolidated markets and stated, “The research literature on hospital mergers is now substantial and shows that mergers lead to higher prices, although without any measured impact on quality.” In light of his testimony, we want to consider how stand-alone hospitals can succeed in today’s difficult healthcare environment. Being an independent hospital has advantages, and those must be used as the basis of short- and long-term strategic planning for success.
Refining Your Process for Better Marketing ROI and Growth Planning Success
The first step in any planning or marketing endeavor for a healthcare organization is service area definition. Before demographics or market share can be run, an appropriate service area must be applied.
Interviews with: Mitzi Kent and Dustie Maguire
Get an insider look at the organization of a successful physician relations program as shared in this interview with Stratasan and LifePoint Health. Learn about the goals and responsibilities, hiring and leadership, relationship building techniques, intelligence and information, and compliance needed to run a thriving and effective team.
Tags: Blog, physician liaison, Physician Pathway, physician recruitment, physician referral, physician referral tool, physician relations, physician tool, strategic growth, strategic positioning, data, health, health care, health strategy, health system, healthcare, healthcare strategy, hospital, hospital strategy, hospitals, medicare, pathways, Physicians, referrals
Does your hospital have a good strategic planning process in place? How frequently is the plan updated and does it impact your day-to-day work and growth planning? Take this short quiz and find out how your team is doing with strategic planning!
With this quiz, you'll receive:
- Immediate feedback as to how good your team is at strategic planning
- Tips and best practices for improving your strategic planning process
- Insights about the value of strategic planning to meet growth, quality, service, and physician relations goals
By Lee Ann Lambdin and Monika O’Clair
Huggins Hospital: A Planning Success Story
In 2017, Huggins Hospital had a fairly new leadership team and an outdated strategic plan. Given the ever-changing healthcare environment, their plan needed to be updated to reflect the new landscape.
Huggins realized it would be valuable to bring in an outside partner—someone who could bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas—to guide them through the process. They were looking for a nimble planning process and techniques for seeking meaningful, diverse input into the strategic plan—all of which they found in their partnership with Stratasan.