By Thomas G Tiller II
COO | Tiller-Hewitt HealthCare Strategies
Tiller-Hewitt HealthCare Strategies is a national consulting firm specializing in assessing and implementing and supporting successful strategic sales/outreach programs. The measurable results bring a long-term competitive advantage by building data-driven sales/outreach programs that systematically maximize strategic growth.
For years, hospitals and health systems have enjoyed the financial benefits that come as a result of implementing successful Physician Liaison Programs. These programs are known by various names; Physician Liaison, Physician Relations and Outreach to name a few. Regardless of what the program is called, the success of these programs is measured by increased referrals and incremental market share growth.
As hospitals and health systems continue to invest and increase their employed physician enterprise, a priority role of the physician liaison is the promotion of the employed physicians and the services offered within their hospital and health system. Additionally, liaisons play a key role on the implementation team of a referral management system. This system provides both tracking and understanding of referral leakage or keepage. Ultimately the goal is to keep referrals within the hospital employed and aligned provider group(s) and health system.
What does that mean for independent physician groups?
First, it suggests independent physician groups need to maintain close relationships with these respective hospitals to remain within their more closely managed referral systems and aligned provider networks.
Second, for many progressive independent physician groups, a key growth strategy should be the implementation of a structured Practice Liaison Program. In addition to working with targeted referral sources to grow practice volumes and surgical referrals; the liaison should work closely with hospital liaisons to further secure strong long-term physician-hospital relationships.
The Practice Liaison Program is an investment of resources. The individual liaison is a reflection of the physician organization; therefore the process of launching a Practice Liaison Program should not be taken lightly. In addition to rigorous sales and practice training for the liaison, the program must be launched under a data driven, results oriented structure to drive maximum results.
As the practice management team focuses on the day-to-day operations of the practice(s), including staffing, quality, patient flow and satisfaction, collections, and budget management, to name a few; the role of the Liaison is in the field focusing on communication and increasing referrals into your practice . It takes both teams working collaboratively and consistently to achieve success.
For more information and several free tools and resources to help you with this process, go to www.tillerhewitt.com. If you need help launching a Practice Liaison program or have any questions about the process, please call us at 618-651-8700.