By Gene Koch
The old model of hospital/healthcare market share that focused on high-margin, high-volume procedures (notably inpatient) used to be the best way to evaluate a healthcare facility’s competitive position. However, this model is quickly becoming less relevant as a new healthcare model – largely fueled by the Affordable Care Act – is taking hold. The new model focuses on transforming the healthcare system from an inpatient sick care model to an outpatient model centered around community-based healthcare that values:
Before we dive into how these changes affect market share and how data can be leveraged for strategic planning to increase and improve market share, let’s look at some compelling data from the American Hospital Association’s 2015 environmental scan that will continue to impact market share changes:
Furthermore, we know that a decline in inpatient care – driven by technological advances in medicine, economic considerations and the ACA – is pushing both horizontal consolidation (hospitals merging with other hospitals) and vertical consolidation (hospitals consolidating with other healthcare provider entities) across all U.S. health regions, according to a Journal of the American Medical Association article.
Healthcare Data and Market Share Changes
The most important part of a healthcare organization’s operational strategy is its ability to keep up with the ever-changing healthcare landscape by being aware of all elements that impact its market. This is where data – both internal data and external data such as healthcare claims data – can be of great value. Let’s take a look at three key areas where hospitals typically seek to gain market share and how the right data will support better strategic decisions with the results being increased market share.
Healthcare Data & Patients
Patient loyalty is critical in the new healthcare model. The ability to measure your healthcare consumers’ experiences across their entire healthcare network is more important than measuring solely on a single point of care. Data can show you where consumers are choosing to go for their care by zip code as well, so that changes and trends can be pinpointed for all data points in a data set.
Healthcare Data & Physicians
The new model of healthcare is focused on creating a healthcare system that is integrated and works with its physician partners to meet the needs of patients across the continuum of care. Data can help you monitor, measure and assess the strength of your facility’s physician network, including both primary care doctors (key components of the new accountable healthcare models) and specialists.
Healthcare Data & Payers
External data such as claims data can help you to determine the payer mix among your competitors. It is also possible to determine which healthcare system or hospital is getting the best reimbursement for procedures among payers in the market. In order to obtain this level of detail, you’ll want to ensure that the is robust enough and covers at least 65-85 percent of the market.
Gene Koch serves as INTELLIMED’s Chief Operating Officer and is a member of the INTELLIMED leadership team. In his free time, he loves to play golf, travel for pleasure and mentor students in several MBA business classes.
By Bill Goodwin
If you are like most leaders in business, you hear the words “Big Data” being used in promotions, internal meetings, vendor presentations and more. Big data – to an increasing extent – has become synonymous with “we can help you find the answers you need and improve profits.”
And, there is some truth in this statement. According to the International Institute for Analytics, businesses that use data will see $430 billion in productivity benefits over their competition not using data. Forrester predicts that real-time streaming insights into big data will be the hallmarks of data winners going forward. Without a doubt, data can help us make better more informed decisions. However, it is possible to over-rely on big data as a panacea for answers to complex healthcare business decisions.
Countless times I have been in meetings with vendors, internal personnel and clients where healthcare big data is mentioned in some form or another as being the solution to helping (better yet telling) them what to do. The competitive pressure in all markets today forces individuals to make decisions faster and more accurately, so the appeal of fresh insights from new clinical data analysis becomes extremely appealing.
In many ways, tapping into healthcare big data analytics can help, but all of us should be extremely careful about placing too much stock in there always being clear, action-oriented and effective go-forward strategies to be found in big data. In fact, I have been in front of many prospective clients over the last few years and they mention, albeit sometimes reluctantly, that they have been burned by previous companies who offer data-driven tools designed to provide answers they had previously been unable to find. So not only has big data in hospitals been marketed as the solution, it has also started to develop a reputation as being overrated.
Big data, more accurately described, is a general, all-inclusive term for a variety of complex data collection, processing and analysis generation that traditional applications are unable to handle. There is no question the accumulation and analysis of new data can be helpful to every organization. However, take ten organizations in the same industry that have the same big data inputs and I guarantee all will come out with different conclusions on what they should do next. Seems logical, yes, but how do you ensure your organization is not one of the ones that makes a critical misstep?
While big data can certainly provide critical insights for healthcare decision makers, we must approach big data cautiously and through a measured perspective. Here are three important considerations with regard to big data to leverage immediately:
Some data experts predict that we have already begun to move away from the era of big data in favor of “fast data” and “actionable data,” noting that most businesses don’t use a fraction of the data they have access to and should focus on asking the right questions to make the best use of data, big or otherwise. Certainly these data analytics changes will enable us to continue to enhance our insights and subsequent decisions.
With the continual advancement of how we access and analyze big data, it’s hard to argue that it’s not a necessary component of healthcare decision making – but it’s not the only factor. Regardless of the direction that big data goes, coupling the knowledge gained from data with our experience and intuition – and knowing when to favor one over the other – will become increasingly important in our complex healthcare landscape.