Using Healthcare Data Analytics to Rock New Practice Development

Using Healthcare Data Analytics

Getting to know and engaging newly recruited providers in your market is a critical step to planning a successful practice launch. But, before you even sit down with these physicians, liaisons should research their markets to better understand each new provider’s growth position.

Easier said than done, right? Well, actually… no, if you have access to good healthcare data analytics. Here is how I have used internal referral data, external data and field intelligence to rock new practice development.

 

Improving Network Utilization with Internal Referral Data

When I was a service line liaison, I typically started with my internal referral data to explore opportunities to improve new practice network utilization. Here are some “telling” questions to get you started:

  • Who are the new provider’s peers within our provider network?
  • Of these peers, who are we primarily getting referrals from today (meaning: who should we steer away from so we don’t erode our existing referral base)?
  • What specialties are driving the majority of the peer group’s patient pipeline?
  • Are any in-network providers still sending outside of the network within this specialty group?
  • Based on past field intelligence, are there clear reasons as to why (i.e. alignment, capacity, access, quality, proximity, payors, politics, patient preference, personal)?
  • Does the addition of the new provider remove any of these key barriers?
  • [If yes] How can we facilitate introductions that improve network utilization once the new provider joins?

 

Spotting Market Trends with External Claims Data

Next, I would review external claims within my healthcare data analytics to get a better handle of trends occurring within the market. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are the top providers in the market for each of the referral groups identified from our internal data trends? (Drill down into specific locations, if satellite development is part of your organization’s service line growth strategy.)
  • When looking at shared patients, who do they appear to be most “connected to” within the new provider’s specialty?
  • What percentage of patients do they share with competing providers?
  • Based on past field intelligence, are there clear reasons as to why (i.e. alignment, capacity, access, quality, proximity, payors, politics, patient preference, personal)?
  • Do data trends over time suggest these connections are weak–outside of their own network alignment or declining?
  • [If yes] How can we further explore these prospects’ willingness to test & potentially redirect patients to our new provider?

 

The 3 Rock Stars of Healthcare Data Analytics

Field Intelligence

Internal Data

External Data

Sources of data: field visits with providers, administrative team, service line leaders, recruiters, practice managers

Sources of data: system billing, practice EMR, issues analysis, hospital compare

Sources of data: US census data, state data, external claims data

What we can learn:

  • historical interactions between hospital-provider & provider-provider
  • provider motivations
  • sample referral mapping
  • existing referral relationships that would be difficult to navigate
  • key issues & opportunities

What we can learn:

  • historical growth (organization, service line, physician, market)
  • patient experience & quality trends
  • potential patient pipelines
  • identification of “good volumes” (payer mix, case mix, direct costs)
  • leakage opportunities
  • referral trends (top partners, first referrals & key variances)

What we can learn:

  • market demographics
  • market position
  • splitter behaviors: facility & physician loyalty
  • services poised for growth
  • network connections via shared patients

 

 

Identifying Best Growth Opportunities with Field Intelligence

Lastly, I aimed to complete a series of pre-visits to collect the field intelligence I needed to both qualify and quantify opportunities spotted in our data. As part of these pre-visits, you can ask referral prospects:

Opening Questions

  • Are you aware that we are in the process of recruiting a new [insert specialty here]?
  • I understand that, on average, most [prospect’s specialty] refer X% of their patients to this specialty. (Get this percentage from your in-network referral data &/or external claims data.) Would you say this true for your practice as well?

Confirmation Questions

  • Who gets the majority of these referrals from you today? (This should be a confirmation question as you likely already have the answer from your research.)
  • Do you personally make the decision on who or where to refer? Or, do you rely on clinic staff to help with this? (Again, you have likely met with this provider in the past and know how this practice operates. This question should merely confirm that referrals to this specialty occur similarly to others.)
  • [Depending on your service line growth strategy] I know you have a satellite office in [location]. I understand from other providers it can be difficult for patients in [location] to get timely/convenient access to [specialty]. Is this a concern for your patients in that office as well?

Exploratory Questions

  • From your perspective, what makes Dr. X & Z the ideal referral partners?
  • [If further details are needed] What qualities would a new physician need to earn your trust as a referral partner and, thus, your patients?

Test Questions

  • Would you be open to meeting our new provider to see if they are another potential referral partner to add to your list?
  • [If yes] Are there any other providers or individuals within your practice that he/she should meet while they are here?
  • [If no] Would you be open to meeting him/her in the future if your needs change?

 

Tools to Launch Your Tour

What other ways do you use healthcare data analytics to support new practice development planning? Are there additional questions you pose to prospects when collecting intelligence before a new provider arrives? Let me know, and I will update this post.

In the meantime, feel free to download our new tool kit–“Using Data to Drive Outreach”. With a data inventory worksheet, recommended outreach strategies and a template for building your data-driven growth case, it has everything you need to rock your new practice planning and development.