Outcomes Tracking – not just good for quality but good for referrals
A Changing Market Landscape
We are in an increasingly consumer-driven market place where patients have more data on price and quality than ever before thanks to companies like Castlight Health, Vitals, ZocDoc, Amino and of course the usual favorite – Yelp. In this new market place, patients will vote with their feet and staying ahead as a practice, building your brand for quality and making that visible with referral channels, payers and patients will be critical.
A recent article from our friends at the Advisory Board talks about how outcomes tracking and particular patient-reported outcomes tracking can help practices succeed in this new world. Here are some of the ways how:
Winning Over Patients
Practices have the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition by making a clear commitment to patient outcomes. By routinely measuring outcomes, using that data to drive care and, when ready, sharing that data publicly practices can gain credibility and trust with prospective patients. When patients start demanding more granular outcomes data beyond the crude complication rates and HCAHPS scores offered up by Physician Compare and some of the sites mentioned above, being able to point to real-world outcomes data from patients your practice has actually treated will set you apart as a clear winner.
Some leading centers are already on this path – take for example the Hoag Orthopedic Institute. For the past 5 years they have published an annual outcomes report that includes case volume, length of stay, complication rates, HCAHPs scores and aggregate patient-reported outcomes data on the major orthopedic procedures they perform. This has helped position their practice as a market leader, gaining recognition as an Aetna Institute of Quality, a Blue Distinction Center for High Quality Hip and Knee Replacement and a designated Center of Excellence with several employers.
The Cleveland Clinic has followed a similar path, publishing an annual Outcomes Book that is broken out by the numerous specialties they serve. Take for example urology, their Outcomes Book details patient-reported AUA symptom scores pre and post-op in women treated for severe lower urinary tract voiding symptoms.
Collecting this kind of data used to be expensive and only really accessible to organizations with large academic budgets. That is no longer the case, and companies like Outcomes.com are actively working with smaller organizations to give them the same advantage in the market.
Building and Strengthening Referral Partnerships
Your outcomes data can also help you build trust and credibility with existing and potential referral partners. By sharing outcomes data with your referral partners or using it in your outreach to new groups, you can establish yourself as a leader and give partners the confidence to send patients your way.
Staying within Network and Centers of Excellence
As private payers continue to look for ways to reduce costs, we are seeing an increasing trend to narrow networks with some providers getting the bump. Furthermore, we are seeing several payers launch Centers of Excellence programs, where designated high quality centers don’t require pre-authorization and are promoted for referral. By having data to back up your outcomes you can strengthen your relationship with payers and make your practice an indispensable part of their networks.
Start Your Outcomes Journey
There has never been a better time to start your outcomes journey and longitudinal data can take a while to accumulate. If you want to capitalize on some of the opportunities talked about above, please get in touch and see how we might be able to help!