Strategic Marketing Support of a Mixed Medical Staff
Leveraging Resources for Employed and Independent Physicians
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Marketing departments are well placed to bolster physician relationships, as their activities are often at the frontlines of hospital-physician interactions. After reading this study, members will be able to:
- Provide strategic marketing support for employed and independent physicians
- Engage in judicious employed physician marketing
- Navigate marketing regulations properly
- Optimize the baseline level of marketing support provided to physicians
- Leverage physician engagement to promote both hospital and physician goals
Dual pressures of economy and reform creating instability for physicians
Physician practice economics remain imperiled as the effects of the economic downturn linger, reimbursement declines, and costs continue to rise. What's more, with the passage of health reform legislation, physicians are now contending with additional uncertainties: reimbursement levels for newly insured patients and determining how to prosper under new payment models.
Physicians are responding to these twin threats by consolidating in the market, either by entering into employment relationships with hospitals or by joining other practices. These alignment shifts have created a renewed urgency for hospitals to solidify relationships with physicians. Markets that were once fluid with regard to physician loyalty will become rigid over the next several years, requiring hospitals to act now or miss opportunities for physician alignment. In either case, existing physician relationships are threatened by realignment, and the ability to inflect relationships in the future may be in jeopardy.
Marketing optimally positioned to strengthen physician relationships
In this volatile time, marketing departments are well placed to bolster physician relationships, as their activities are often at the frontlines of hospital-physician interactions. Marketing activities—be they liaison outreach efforts, educational events, or marketing campaigns—represent opportunities to promote a shared strategic vision with physicians.
Target resources, mitigate compliance risk for sustained success
Supporting and promoting a mixed medical staff requires a balance between resource allocation and compliance. Segmenting employed physicians based on practice characteristics can help direct the majority of resources to the best growth prospects. In addition, developing a regulatory audit assessment can help determine the level of compliance risk for individual physician marketing campaigns, while creating transparent physician marketing guidelines encourages both regulatory compliance and strategic resource use. Progressive hospitals are also maximizing support by showcasing baseline physician marketing activities to physicians, such as new doctor introductions, discount opportunities, physician speaking engagements, and marketing cheat sheets.
A Renewed Physician Imperative