The Growth Channel

3 ways to simplify your primary care network planning

by Anna Yakovenko and Emily Heuser

Primary care demand has been surging—and Advisory Board analysis forecasts double-digit growth across the nation over the next 10 years. Capturing this growth has become more complex as traditional and new-in-kind competitors launch diverse physical and virtual options to support these volumes. The results is strategists today are challenged to merge numerous analyses from fragmented data sets into one, cohesive primary care strategy.

Our new Primary Care Volume Estimator simplifies common primary care strategic planning activities to help your team develop a physician strategy that meets market demand, assemble the right network of alternative sites, and locate clinics strategically.

Read on to learn how to simplify your primary care planning with our tool.

1. Right-size your network by anticipating service shifts to alternative sites

Alternative sites such as urgent care, retail clinics, and virtual visits are increasingly popular additions to planners' ambulatory portfolios. This is because they can improve access to primary care, drive referrals, and manage primary care clinic volumes by offloading select visits to alternative sites. Rightsizing this network of alternative sites can be challenging, though, since these sites each handle different types of visits.

Our Primary Care Volume Estimator identifies primary care office visits that are eligible to shift to each of these three support sites. For example, in our shift analyses, strep tests move from the office to retail and urgent care clinics, and some pink eye tests convert to a virtual setting. By comparing the volumes eligible to shift to each of these sites, you can recognize opportunities to manage patients at lowest cost care site, determine an appropriate mix of primary care support investments to meet market demand, and grow PCP panels through new capacity at traditional clinic sites.

2. Develop a physician strategy with on-demand subspecialty forecasts

Forecasting primary care demand by subspecialty is an essential step when considering employing more primary care practitioners or improving physician marketing. Our Primary Care Volume Estimator allows you to compare expected growth rates across primary care specialties so that you can pinpoint the greatest growth opportunities for volumes and downstream referrals.

Use this tool to evaluate volume forecasts and growth rates by subspecialty in your current market for your physician needs assessment, and in new markets in which you might be considering an expansion.

3. Strategically site clinics with competition in mind

Location is often key to the success of primary care sites. There are a number of factors to consider when siting clinics, including visibility, local demographics and traffic patterns, and current access levels—but even just the fundamental step of comparing zip code-level primary care demand and the local competitive landscape has traditionally been cumbersome and disjointed.

We simplify this in the Primary Care Volume Estimator, where you can create volume heat maps by zip code or county and layer on urgent care, retail care, and primary care clinic locations to help identify the most promising locations for new primary care sites.


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Next, get your network strategy on track

Growth today comes from building a highly accessible network—one that appeals to physicians, purchasers, and patients alike. Our infographic outlines nine stratiegies for helping you assemble, manage, and market a network of choice.

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