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Five Steps to Build Successful Growth Strategies

In a post-pandemic environment, providers are more likely to refer patients for procedures, diagnostic testing, and physician visits to non-hospital environments. This presents an opportunity for healthcare leaders to re-exam their growth strategies and develop structure to define the market opportunity, redefine access as defined by providers and customers, and leverage data to prevent leakage and increase downstream revenue.

In this article, we will explore five strategies that healthcare leaders can start developing today to build a successful growth strategy for the future.

Step 1: Understand your Leakage Baseline

As healthcare continues to change post-pandemic, understanding the impacts on your growth strategies becomes even more critical. To build new growth strategies, you need to begin with collecting both qualitative and quantitative data from internal and external data sources.

This will provide organizations grounded, fact-based, value-creating strategies to maintain or gain a competitive edge. To understand if the strategies are effective, organizations must first know where it is today and create a baseline to compare results in the future.

To set the organizations baseline, start with basic data collecting techniques that include in-person interviews, followed by a survey. Begin with interviews that have open-ended questions that allow the interviewee to provide their opinion without the interviewer inserting their personal biases.

Based on the qualitative data, develop a short 10 to 12-question survey that can be sent to a larger audience. Developing the right questions is imperative and they should be designed to help the organization understand the gaps in the current growth strategies.

Internal quantitative data should also be collected and monitored. The internal data should include, but is not limited to financial data if applicable, operational metrics, and outcome metrics. Organizations should also consider adding balancing metrics to monitor to ensure the implemented strategies do not inadvertently negatively impact other important metrics.

Step 2: Develop an Oversight Structure

Whether you are a single practice or a hospital, designing the proper oversight structure is key to executing the right projects to drive results. The oversight committee will help provide the foundation needed to execute growth strategies and monitor results that link to the strategic plan.

The committee can begin with a basic committee charter that outlines the sponsoring group/committee, the group’s purpose, responsibilities, decision making authority, chairperson(s), core team and meeting frequency that is completed and approved by the committee members.

The committee’s functions should include:

  • Strategic/business alignment
  • Coordination of projects/initiatives
  • Resource deployment
  • Monitoring results

Step 3: Understand Market Share

Healthcare leaders should base growth strategies on data that provides information on the market share of the patients they serve. A method that leaders can use to inform their strategies is claims data. When you pull claims data, you can answer questions that help you build a winning growth strategy.

Claims data can be used to answer a multitude of questions include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Share of Care – Track patterns between physicians and specialists and quantify leakage
  • Market Analysis – Track all activity across the Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA) and quantify leakage on Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)/Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Codes or ICD-10 and MS-DRG codes
  • Provider Analysis – Quantify and analyze provider billing to garner what is staying and what is not staying in the organization and identify and quantify where patients are going after they see an employed physician
  • Opportunity Analysis – Identify where the biggest opportunities are based on the quantitative data and develop strategies to close the gaps

Step 4: Understand Access

To develop an access strategy, you must first define what access is for the organization. You can start by identifying the touchpoints that patients have in the access cycle.

Access can include but is not limited to the following:

  • Searching for a provider
  • Selection of a provider
  • Scheduling an appointment
  • Preparing for the visit
  • Follow-up after the visit

Qualitative data is one of the best strategies to uncover opportunities. One way to get qualitative data is by interviewing providers and customers (patients and their family/friends). The outcome of the interviews will provide your team with quality information that can help the organization understand the pain points in the access cycle that can ultimately lead to leakage.

Once you have identified leakage opportunities and validated access pain points defined by the customers and providers, set goals, and develop an access strategy that will attract, engage, and retain future business.

Step 5: Execution Strategy

Once you have developed a strategy designed to address the gaps and challenges found in the qualitative and quantitative data, a team must execute on those strategies. The identified strategies are prioritized initiatives that can be led by the oversight committee and include a project charter with goals linked to improving the growth strategies.

Within a charter, the committee can identify resources for a project team and develop high-level milestones achieved in 30, 60, or 90 days. The project team leader will then update the oversight committee members and any barriers are addressed and progress towards the goals are monitored.

Contact Us about your Growth Strategies

Growth strategies will continue to evolve over time as the market continues to shift. Blue & Co. Physician and Hospital Operations team is committed to helping you succeed.

Our team can help you build the structure and strategies and use claims data to build a baseline measurement and monitor future results. If you would like more information on how our team can help you, please contact Crystal Bingham or your local Blue & Co. Advisor.

Crystal Bingham, Manager

Tony Javorka, CPA, Director 

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