Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are You Improving the Physician Experience to Increase Volume and Revenue?

Any number of healthcare organizations are looking to increase admissions to drive revenue and volume by physicians. Some providers are returning to the days of employing physicians, and that seems to be making a big comeback for health systems ACO development.

Anyhow, sales staffs are popping up all over like weeds-in-a-field, complete with goals and objectives, territories and sales quotas for specific docs, along identified disease-states. In most cases, they are managed by people who have never sold anything in their life. The first time the sales person comes back to the organization with, "This needs to change" request, it all breaks down, because nobody internally wants to really change anything. Besides, with all the Stark considerations, we really can't do too much anyway.

What's wrong with this picture?

If you are really serious about growing revenue and volume, you must, not need too, you must, make changes in the physician experience in your organization. No matter that the healthcare consumer is in the beginning stages of learning how to be empowered. No matter that the payment model is changing from a production-based, to a quality-based. No matter, that you are employing physicians. If you want to grow volume and revenue, you need to change the physician experience with your healthcare organization.

Face it. Nothing happens unless you have a physicians order. No test. No surgery. No home health care. No specialty drug. No nothing.

To increase volume and revenue in this economy, where patients are putting off or delaying healthcare diagnosis and treatments, you need to break the mold. What will bring you the greatest Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI), running ads that tell consumers are how great you are because you just got an award? Which as a side note, research is now showing the consumer doesn't believe then anyway. Or, focusing considerable time, resources and energy on improving the physician experience across your entire organizational touch-points?

Its about their experience in admitting, treating and referring patients to your emergency room, hospital, pharmacy, surgical center or a home care agency, to name a few of the providers docs deal with on a daily basis. How easy is it for them to practice medicine in your facility? How many complaints do they get from their patients about you? How do you lessen the hassle factor for them to do what they want? Namely, practice medicine. Everyone is out there with the send to me, me, me, message.

More than your own perceived features and benefits.

Be ready to make changes in how you do things. When your physician liaison, account rep, or insert title here person comes back, and says he or she is finding obstacles that physicians are encountering in admitting or practicing medicine in your organization, be ready to make meaningful changes. If not, you're just wasting your time and money, sending out people to increase volume and revenue from a physician or multispecialty group. Nothing worse than over promising and under delivering.

And really, that's as far as I am going. If you don't know how to do this, then you need to hire me.

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