Eric Cragun, Marketing and Planning Leadership Council
While the shift to risk-based payment heightens the imperative to keep patients in-system for care across the continuum, even fee-for-service economics provides a business case for increasing this sort of patient loyalty.
By leveraging existing patient encounters to identify additional appropriate services that patients might need, providers boost the organization’s revenue through improved “share of wallet” (i.e., the percentage of their health care dollar that patients spend within a particular hospital or system).
We’ve seen that these efforts tend to yield higher rates of return than initiatives to capture new patients, making them compelling under today’s fee-for-service incentives. Looking ahead, new payment incentives will hold providers accountable for the quality and cost of care for many existing patients, regardless of who provides the care.
“Cross-sell” patients on the value of system services
Patients who need ongoing care for chronic conditions are one of the best targets for efforts that simultaneously improve loyalty while elevating care value for a patient panel. As these patients seek care—both related and unrelated to their chronic conditions—staff can recommend programs and other services that would enable better disease management.
For example, knowing that one-fifth of inpatient orthopedic services are provided to patients with diabetes, hospital staff could look for opportunities to enroll orthopedic patients with diabetes in the organization’s diabetes management program. The patient benefits by accessing needed services, while the hospital benefits from a greater share of wallet. Even for low-profit services like disease management, the hope is that improved patient loyalty will ultimately translate to increased inpatient market share.
Efforts to improve “share of wallet” in one service line may even spill over to other service lines. For instance, while the most common chronic diseases have strong ties to cardiovascular services, patients with these conditions frequently use non-cardiovascular services, as well.
Prioritize deployment of resources
Given the significant number of chronic conditions in most major service lines, service line leaders and clinical stakeholders should prioritize the deployment of resources to maximize clinical impact and revenue growth.
Service line leaders might identify which conditions—related or not—are most common among their patients. Similarly, clinical leaders interested in improving care for a specific condition can look across multiple service lines to identify the best partners for launching an initiative.
What services are your chronic disease patients using?
To help planners and service line leaders identify service line-level opportunities for deploying chronic care resources and better managing patient care across the continuum, we have developed the Chronic Condition Inpatient Estimator.
Members of the Marketing and Planning Leadership Council can access the tool for market-level snapshots of inpatient service utilization by patients with chronic diseases. The tool estimates the number and percentage of inpatient cases attributable to this patient population across service lines, sub-service lines, and individual procedures.
Not a member of the Marketing and Planning Leadership Council? Learn more on our website.