Service line directors often justify investment in niche, advanced clinical services by pointing to "halo effect,” the concept that advanced services drive growth in other parts of the service line. The logic is that an expensive investment will differentiate the service line to patients and referring physicians, who will choose the facility for other procedures not related to the new investment. As a result, the investment will achieve positive returns even if it does not break even on its own.
We investigated whether there is evidence of a halo effect for niche services. Our findings show that there is no automatic link between advanced service investment and service line growth.