Uses Data Analysis to Expand into New Markets
After serving Maryland for 10 years, Chesapeake Urology expanded to cover the mid-Atlantic region, and is now broadening its reach to patients nationally. Success has come from the founders’ commitment to attracting and retaining the best physicians and support staff, and investing in innovative diagnostic and treatment technology. They provide a care experience that includes comprehensive urology services provided by talented urologists with training in various subspecialties, including pediatrics, oncology, uropathology and reconstructive surgery.
The practice has successfully entered new markets, but not without encountering obstacles. As with any specialty practice trying to establish itself in new areas, CUA was faced with the challenge of developing a patient base through the various referral sources in the area.
Ryan Swailes, CUA physician liaison and key player in facilitating their expansion, understood that the old standard methods of physician outreach weren’t going to yield the desired results. He saw the need for a strategy that would target the right referral sources in new markets and knew he needed a solution that would provide two critical missing elements: information and organization.
Finding the Right Tools for the Job
As with most physician liaisons, Ryan spends much of his day in the field or on the phone, communicating with physicians to recruit them for his practice, establish them as a referral source or retain their current business. Those invaluable efforts to build physician relationships can be difficult to track, and that’s where Marketware comes in.
Ryan has come to depend on the organizational features of Ascend, Marketware’s PRM, to keep his outreach efforts focused and efficient, particularly when moving into new territories. Because Ascend is the only PRM built specifically for the unique needs of relationship managers working in healthcare, it provides practical solutions that other, relationship management tools do not. Before discovering Marketware, Ryan used Salesforce, but was often frustrated with the workarounds necessary to store physician-specific information.
Ascend also provides actionable, understandable data analysis, where other PRMs do not. And Marketware’s data analysis solution, Scout, is fully integrated into Ascend. So using the data points available through claims data and internal data EHR/EMR, Ryan can discover untapped market share in his territories, assess which physicians most urgently need outreach and form strategies that yield high ROI.
Harnessing the Power of Data to Build Sustainable Referral Relationships
When moving into any new territory, the key to success is preparedness. In the past, much of that prep work at Chesapeake Urology was done without the aid of data analysis tools, making it difficult to research physician behaviors. Ryan hoped to change that when he recommended to his leadership team that they implement Marketware. When searching for PRM to replace Salesforce, he immediately realized the impact Ascend’s PRM and Scout’s data analysis solutions could have on outreach. He was able to demonstrate to leadership that with Marketware:
- Due diligence before moving into new territories would be simpler and more reliable
- The integration of Scout’s powerful data analytics into Ascend, could provide insight into his markets with the click of a few buttons on his laptop or phone
- Data analysis displayed in color-coded dashboards would allow him to track and easily demonstrate ROI
Having access to market data has given Ryan a competitive edge when it comes to getting new practice locations up and running quickly, and he says, “Marketware has especially helped me in areas where I’m unfamiliar with the market and where we’re ‘the new kids in town.’ We put a new office in Montgomery County, Maryland, where there was an established urology group, and I’ve been able to look into their urologists, find their network connections and go after their top people. Marketware really helps me hone in on the people I need to spend the most time with.”
Ryan can use the data in Scout to understand physician challenges and position CUA as the best referral partner. Those insights into each physician’s needs have helped him make every communication as meaningful as possible.
Forming a Plan, Executing a Strategy
Business intelligence offers Ryan significant competitive advantage, but that isn’t enough. In addition to physician insight from claims and internal data, he needs to plan, track and measure outreach efforts using that information. Ascend is his go-to for those needs.
According to Ryan, Ascend has allowed CUA to make several improvements to their physician outreach program. Particularly when expanding into a new territory, Ryan has used Ascend, coupled with market data pulled in from Scout, to be more strategic with his deployment of liaisons. He can see all the doctors in a region who are referring to urologists, as well as their referral volume, revenue and payer mix. He can even mine the data for service line-level information, giving him more insight into how best to approach specific physicians.
When it comes to reaching physicians on a more personal level, Ryan can improve service by leveraging the product’s customer service management features. By logging his communications in activity tracker, physicians are reassured he’s aware of their specific needs and challenges and working to address them — whether he’s made a visit, a follow-up call or emailed. Most importantly, these capabilities are all available through a mobile app, which Ryan classifies as Ascend’s most appealing feature. He can take what he needs wherever he goes, which is crucial to liaisons like himself who spend so much time on the road.
Sharing Information, Proving Value
Expanding into the mid-Atlantic region has been exciting for CUA, but it has also come with new challenges, such as managing the collaborative nature of physician recruiting and retention when growth is rapid. One way CUA has mitigated this challenge is by using Ascend and Scout to share information between departments.
For example, Pat Schnably, VP of Marketing & Communications at CUA, frequently uses Scout to assess market share, particularly how they stack up against their biggest competitors. Not only can Pat see how Chesapeake Urology is performing compared to other urology providers in the area, but she can also evaluate how CUA’s incoming referral volumes and revenues are trending over time. She can then cross-reference the outreach efforts being tracked in Ascend by the physician relations team. Spikes in referral volume, or patients coming in from first-time referrers, can often be directly correlated to increased outreach activities in the time leading up to those referrals. Downward trends in referral patterns can also be spotted in Scout and shared with the liaison responsible, who can then reach out to address the physician’s needs.
This interdepartmental information sharing enabled by Marketware product’s have been a key advantage for CUA, and has allowed them to position themselves strategically in new markets as they’ve expanded across the U.S.
Growth in your practice is possible, just as it’s been for Chesapeake Urology Associates. Consider these tips:
- When looking for new referral sources, be sure to use available market data to target the right physicians who will best fit your practice.
- Market data, when combined with your practice’s internal data, can give insight into what your physicians might need from your practice, and will help you develop a plan to make your outreach more effective.
- Strategic conversations with your providers will demonstrate that you understand their specific challenges and want to help resolve them.
- Healthcare specific PRM allows physician liaisons to better track activities, making their efforts more impactful, and 2) the considerable value of their role to practice growth and ROI more recognizable.
- When you invest in a relationship management tool, make sure it meets the unique demands of your physician outreach professionals, including mobile access and claims data integration.