STRATEGIC POSITIONING

PHYSICIAN ENTRY POINTS PRODUCE BREAKTHROUGH RESULTS

Lakeland Regional Health System in Berrien County, Michigan.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Expanding demand when channels of entry are functioning at full capacity will not increase volume.
  • Even though some channels may not be optimized, opening additional points of entry can be beneficial since some physicians will never be fully utilized, regardless of demand.
  • Channel management growth can be best achieved by producing an alliance methodology that includes the advocacy of other physicians in the market that sponsor or promote specific areas targeted for growth.
CHALLENGE

Lakeland Regional Health System operates healthcare services for Berrien County, Michigan. As the sole operator of hospital care in the region and offering a wide range of services, the administration sought a strong positioning for their market share. With market penetration at a modest 50%, meaning half the community of 160,000 people were leaving the area for their care, a deliberate effort to grow their reach was engaged.

APPROACH & SOLUTION

The Hospital CEO, Joseph Wasserman respected the need for the hospital's success to begin at the physician offices.Thus, he asked his leader for market strategies, Terry Newmyer, to offer a promotional plan to physician offices to help them grow their practices. However, it was soon evident that while physicians showed appreciation for the gesture, most of them had closed practices. They were not taking new patients. This feedback changed the tone of the study.

The administration shifted the analysis to a statistical review of physician-to-population ratios compared to US averages. The finding was startling: in Berrien County there was approximately one physician for every 1,000 people, yet the US average was closer to one physician for every 500 people. The strategy was rapidly adjusted from a promotions plan to a physician recruitment plan.

RESULTS
A profound success was achieved for producing ease of access to patients while simultaneously enriching the viability of healthcare for the region.
  • Within five years, over one hundred new physicians were successfully recruited to the county.
  • New entry points to healthcare were created.
  • Hospital revenue more than doubled.