Market Share Considerations in Healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on health system volumes across the country as non-urgent, elective care has been deferred to preserve resources and isolate patients. The resulting decrease in revenues has left many organizations cash-strapped and off-balance, all while working tirelessly to prepare for a potential surge of patients and its implications on bed capacity, protective equipment, and the safety of patients and employees. As restrictions now begin to ease, the healthcare landscape will undoubtedly emerge looking very different than the familiar pre-COVID-19 environment. Healthcare leaders, having responded admirably in response to the immediate crisis of the pandemic, are now realizing the importance of planning for the complicated return to a “new normal” filled with uncertainty.
Preservation of Market Share
One vital area requiring significant focus for hospitals amid the disruption caused by COVID-19 will be the preservation of market share. Patient loyalty and referral capture are the lifeblood of any healthcare system, with most investing significantly in primary care delivery models that “feed” profitable ancillary and specialty care services. Patients are understandably reassessing how, when, and where they seek and receive care. Without a measured, intentional response, organizations have the potential to experience negative shifts in market share as patients cautiously and selectively reenter the healthcare marketplace.
Opportunities to Increase Market Share
But with any challenge comes opportunity. While it will be important for hospitals to work to secure their loyal patient base and preexisting revenue streams, those organizations that effectively reimagine and reinvent themselves through innovative approaches stand to gain discerning patients, and perhaps even providers. Through strategic communication, leaders should work to reestablish their organization as a safe place to receive care, as well as seek to understand patients’ evolving expectations in how they receive care.
Leaders serious about emerging from COVID-19 as a stronger organization must embrace change and work at unprecedented speeds to respond to the shifting needs and preferences of both patients and their care teams. Never before, and likely never again, will hospital leaders have a greater opportunity to positively impact their organizations and the communities they serve. The ability to engage key stakeholders, including physicians, in strategic innovation and execution through this recovery has the potential to fundamentally reshape an organization well into the future.
Maintaining Existing Market Share
To preserve current market share, organizations should:
- Redesign facilities/processes for patient and employee safety
- Create credibly clean care delivery areas
- Review referral capture processes (given shift to Telehealth)
- Engage patients proactively for elective procedure reintegration
- Communicate readiness through numerous channels
Gaining New Market Share
To gain new market share, organizations must:
- Reassess competitive marketplace in light of COVID-19
- Ramp up capacity ahead of competition
- Embrace shifting care delivery models (i.e. Telehealth, Homecare)
- Emerge as market leader in COVID-19 preparedness and safety
- Consider new strategic acquisition or alignment opportunities
- Engage physician leaders in strategic response
At Blue & Co, we’ve worked hard to develop expertise in the COVID-19 crisis response and recovery process in order to bring valuable tools and insight to our healthcare clients. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your organization’s unique needs and how we might partner with you to ensure your “new normal” is one of transformational progress and success.
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