Friday, July 10, 2015

Healthcare Marketing Links and Data You Can't Live Without !

Ever wonder where to get information about the people and places that you need to connect with within the healthcare industry here in Southern California?

You know how it is... You're trying to make headway in your position as a healthcare marketer, and while you may have an idea of who to talk to at this hospital or that skilled nursing facility however, you definitely don't have everything you need, and if you don't make some significant progress in your position as a marketer, you're going to become unemployed in a very very short period of time. 

Marketing is About Results! 

I've spent a better part of my career in the ambulance and EMS industry, and my success has been driven by what I was able to bring to the table. I've never been a "take the account when I leave" marketer, although there are many that are. I've always looked at that as "cheating" because my prior employer has paid me for my duties to their service, and they should enjoy the fruits of that labor I was paid for. 

But if you're new to healthcare marketing, you need to ferret out the data that you're going to need to bring new business in the door, once you've exhausted all of the resources that you have either been given, or have developed. Remember, results are what keeps you employed and in the bosses good graces. 

Treasure Hunting.

As a kid, I use to draw maps in crayon, and go out in the backyard and bury something that I thought was cool. Then when my buddies would come over to play, we'd go out and play like we were pirates, in search of our buried treasure. 

When you're seeking new business to develop, or contracts to sign, you have to know where to go first, and who to talk to second. Both are important pieces of your map, but it does you no good to have one, without having the other. 

In California, there is a place on the web called the "Office of Statewide Healthcare Planning & Development" (OSHPD... just Google it to get there faster).

This has always been a "cash cow" of information that includes a litany of data that covers every hospital, skilled facility, hospice, home health, professional providers, as well as primary care and specialty clinics. It's incredible the amount of information that you will find at this website and its all free, provided to you courtesy of the State of California and your tax dollars. You really need to explore this one if you haven't found it already! 

Another great website where I have gotten a considerable amount of data for managed care contracting, as well as a TON of valuable information that will help you "connect the dots" between which payer goes with which hospital, what managed care organization is affiliated with what hospital is the website data provided by Grant Cattaneo, Penny Stroud and Greg Paxton at Cattaneo and Stroud. 

Cattaneo and Stroud is a consultancy that prides itself on their strategic planning and managed care contracting abilities, and have created quite a name for themselves within the healthcare industry. 

One of the things that they have available though is their database that is free to review, or download, and it covers a wealth of managed care information that has proven to be invaluable over the years. About three years ago, they began to provide Excel pivot tables that you could download and manipulate that you can download to your work laptop, so that you can have the answers you're looking for at your fingertips all of the time. 

In Conclusion

There is a wealth of really good information and data out there on the web that will serve you and your career if you take the time out of your life to dig around for it. One example that comes to mind is the newly released Medicare Provider database. From an ambulance provider's prospective in a saturated market, I can get a good idea of what type of business my competitors are going after by looking at their Medicare profile. This can be very helpful indeed on more levels than just marketing. 

My point is merely this, success in marketing is does not involve a magic wand, nor does it involve a crystal ball. What it does involve is a lot of research and relationships that you're going to have to develop. But at least now, by having this information and building upon it, you'll be able to reduce a significant amount of wasted effort trying to find not only who to speak to for new business, but whether or not the provider's payer-mix is worth the time and effort to pursue.

Happy Hunting!

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