3 key healthcare affiliations metrics

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When was the last time you heard a member of your sales team complain about having too much time? Probably never. But it’s pretty likely you’ve heard all about—or have experienced yourself—the pain of wasting time on contacts with no influence on a healthcare organization’s (HCO’s) decision-making.

It’s no secret: Understanding decision-making potential and other aspects of healthcare affiliations can improve the success of your sales conversations.

Authority isn’t the only aspect of healthcare affiliations that matters. A never-ending series of HCO mergers and acquisitions make provider partnerships even more intricate. These complex relationships reduce visibility into this high-value market—but also present opportunities.

With the right intelligence into a health system or network, you can address your prospects’ specific pain points and highlight the most relevant aspects of your unique solution. You just need to know where to look.

Keep reading to learn about the three best metrics for analyzing provider and facility affiliations.

1. Hospital referral patterns

Hospital referral patterns can show a wide variety of provider pain points but are particularly useful for identifying network leakage. If clinicians are consistently referring patients to out-of-network providers, they lose money.

Network leakage can also lead to interruptions in care delivery and inconsistencies in care quality. This may negatively impact patient outcomes and cost more in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) penalties. Network leakage may disrupt patient adherence, reducing treatment effectiveness and increasing care costs.

Referrals to specialists or specialized facilities may indicate a staffing shortage. If no providers offer a service in-network, there is little choice but to send a patient elsewhere. Identifying the diagnoses with the most referrals can help facilities better understand gaps within their networks.

For example, if a health system is losing cardiac patients to specialists in other networks, system leaders may hire or contract with cardiologists to reduce leakage.

Screenshot from the Definitive Healthcare visual dashboard on hospital referral analytics.
Fig. 1 Screenshot from our visual dashboard on hospital referral analytics, using data from HospitalView. Hospital data is sourced from CMS and proprietary sources and continually updated. Medical claims data is sourced from multiple clearinghouses and updated monthly. Data accessed April 2024.

2. GPOs and purchasing relationships

Knowing which purchasing group(s) a hospital is part of can help you identify your ideal partners. Contracting with a group purchasing organization (GPO) is one way to secure a steady stream of sales to healthcare facilities.

According to Definitive Healthcare data, 94% of hospitals are members of a GPO. In comparison, 93% of health systems are GPO members.

Hospitals and health systems that belong to a GPO often report lower supply costs, as GPOs have massive purchasing power and can negotiate prices below retail costs for member facilities. Some IDNs may also negotiate purchasing costs with vendors.

Finding influencers and key opinion leaders can sway GPOs and IDNs to work with your organization. Hospitals and health systems focus on cost-saving measures to meet CMS standards for patient care costs and outcomes, and the right internal influencers can help communicate your ability to deliver those benefits.

Physician preference items still account for a significant portion of supply chain spending. If you can prove ROI for your solutions, you become even more valuable to potential clients.

A screenshot from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product showing a map of active GPOs in the U.S.
Fig. 2 Screenshot from Definitive Healthcare’s HospitalView product. The map shows locations of active GPOs in the U.S. Hospital data is sourced from CMS and proprietary sources and continually updated. Data accessed April 2024.

3. IDN parent and network hierarchy

According to Definitive Healthcare data, 80% of hospitals belong to an IDN. These health systems dictate how hospitals and other member facilities run on a day-to-day basis.

IDN membership influences software and technology, supply chain spending, and quality improvement measures. Partnering with a health system can be more lucrative than focusing on one hospital alone. Health system partnerships can also ensure your services are adopted in many care facilities.

Some IDNs even have parent IDNs. Of the 1,141 health systems tracked by Definitive Healthcare, 30% report having a parent IDN.

Kaiser Permanente, a parent IDN, reports more than 660 members. This includes 6 smaller IDNs in California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. When targeting care facilities in California, it could be more helpful to target the Kaiser parent IDN than its members.

A screenshot from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product showing a map of active IDNs in the U.S.
Fig. 3 Image is from Definitive Healthcare’s HospitalView product. This map shows the locations of IDNs in the U.S. by integration level. Hospital data is sourced from CMS and proprietary sources and continually updated. Data shown is from calendar year 2024.

Learn more

Understanding the relationships between healthcare providers, HCOs, GPOs, and payors can give you an edge when you’re selling into the healthcare market. Definitive Healthcare offers robust healthcare commercial intelligence on key organizational affiliations across the country.

Want to see how our intelligence can help you achieve your goals? Sign up for a free trial today.

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Definitive Healthcare

This blog was written by a former contributor at Definitive Healthcare.At Definitive Healthcare, our passion is to transform data, analytics and expertise into healthcare…

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