How Changes in Physician Practice Ownership Will Affect Your Efforts to Build Clinical Volume

A transformative change is taking place in the way medical services are provided: Private Practices are becoming Health System owned.  This affects the way you do hospital marketing more than any other trend or legislation in your lifetime.

New York Times: Fewer Private Practices

For the last 50 years practices have been owned by doctors about 70% of the time. Since 2007 that number has been dropping like a rock as physicians are choosing to be employed by health systems.

This is happening at the same time as a big increase in self referral to providers. For instance, more than 82% of women do their own research before they discuss medical issues with friends and then later with doctors.

What used to fill our hospitals is physician referrals. Now what fills beds is consumer self referrals based on their own research.

Doctors that are now employees have technological (EMR) and financial incentives to refer within the system. Consumers self-referral is continuing to increase. So you should devote less resources  to physician referral marketing and more resources dedicated to consumer marketing.

This is great news. Why? Because physician referral patterns slowly change- if at all. And consumers are quickly informed and will make a decision. This means you can drive profitable increases in clinical volume relatively quickly. Said another way: your job just got easier.

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One Response to How Changes in Physician Practice Ownership Will Affect Your Efforts to Build Clinical Volume

  1. Wayne Guerra says:

    Great post. The increasing frequency of patient self referral is one reason our new application, iTriage, is gaining significant traction. We are a symptom to provider pathway available as an iPhone/Android application or on the desktop or mobile web at http://www.iTriageHealth.com. Patients use our platform to learn more about their symptoms and then we help them select the best provider by using geo-location, quality and cost information.

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