CASE STUDY 0025 – Hospital Owned Cardiology Practices

In October of 2012 we were recruited to market two large cardiology groups which were purchased and merged by a health system in southern New Jersey.  These practices had been highly successful for decades prior to purchase by a large regional hospital chain and they cared for nearly two thirds of all cardiology patients in the catchment area.

We completed our marketing audit in November of 2012 and went to the field, (80 calls per month), in late November in an effort to survey the referring community to determine their needs and perceptions of our colleagues in cardiology.  After just five weeks we collected some interesting market intelligence that enabled us to adjust our message and field strategy based on the decrease in diagnostic referrals both nationally and locally.

In December of 2012 we began to focus heavily on our procedure capability and the ease of consults overall and at our one new satellite facility which was just opened.  The survey period convinced us to shift our efforts from serving all catchment areas for lucrative diagnostics, to focus on just three offices in an effort to drive procedures and new patient consults in a dense, competitive catchment zone.

Our shift in strategy also included a focus on specific practices who expressed a willingness to change their referral patterns. (Here we employed a proprietary survey tool we call “The Practice-Reps Insight Survey”.  This survey, developed in collaboration with a leading behavioral scientist, enables us to identify those referral sources most open to change.   The survey has earned a reliability rate exceeding 86%).  Our first pass through the territory enabled us to assess each office to determine their level of loyalty to their current referral colleagues while we refined our efforts to focus only on those open to change.  This change in targeting was based on our proprietary survey, our experience, and the objective feedback we gleaned based on our professional sales skills.  In short, once you know where to go…success will quickly follow!

Over the next 13 weeks we made a point of revisiting very specific practices which we had identified for conversion based on the Insight Survey.  Each time we called on the practice we were careful to address the needs expressed by key personnel while we created value for the practice through education, administrative support, communication, and relationship building at every level.  Once referral habits began to change, we then put this practice into a “maintenance mode” status with fewer calls and replaced it with another pending client whom we identified as open to change.

This strategic approach to territory management and targeting based on the Insight Survey results allowed us to have a significant impact on new patient referrals and procedures in a very short time!  By March 22nd of 2013 we compared the referral results for Q1/13 versus Q1/12 and discovered a 12% increase in new patient referrals coupled with an 8% increase in procedure volume for both practices combined.  The majority of these increases came from the catchment areas where we focused based on survey results.

For more information on the Insight Survey developed by Practice-Reps or our referral marketing services for hospitals and specialty practices contact Mike Ranson at 610-323-4793 or see us on line at www.practice-reps.com

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