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.
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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.
Why It’s Critical for Measuring Progress, Driving Growth, and Meeting Goals
A Playbook for Independent Hospitals and Small Health Systems
Most marketing, strategic planning, and physician relations teams recognize the value of tracking the ROI of their outreach efforts, but it's challenging to do. This is especially true for independent hospitals and small health systems.
But for these smaller healthcare providers, it's especially important that they strategize and track success in tandem, because they don't have the money or bandwidth to duplicate efforts, nor the support of a corporate office or hospital support center.
Time is everything.
Regardless of the size of your organization or your position, it’s a reality in healthcare today that your job will require you to wear many hats and to work smarter, not harder. You may find yourself responsible for multiple departments or teams in several different locations. Maybe your organization has experienced a merger and you are now involved in marketing, business development, and strategic planning. Whatever the case may be, it’s critical now more than ever that you master the skills of productivity and time management, finding resourceful ways to be more effective with your limited time.
Overcome Market Share Myths and Kickstart Growth
It is true that patients will go to the hospital closest to them IF all other factors are equal. But the reality is — all other factors are typically not equal. Here’s what we’ve found to be true when it comes to driving hospital volume: