Providence Health & Services
Exceeds Year Over Year Goal with Customized Implementation
Functionality and Data: A Winning Combination
While claims data analytics can provide a watchtower view of market trends, learning how to wield this powerful asset requires a high level of expertise and technology that is customized specifically to an organization’s needs. Healthcare systems must invest in the initial molding and implementation of the tool to make this a reality and maximize its value. Providence Health and Services, based in Renton, Washington, learned in their implementation of Marketware that having the right analytics platform with both the right functionality as well as the right data is the winning combination for increased revenue and minimized risk.
Providence is the largest employer in the state of Oregon, and it’s constantly growing. Access to market share information is essential in making sure this growth not only continues, but remains strategic as well. Viktoria Leeper heads efforts to acquire and analyze data so that each move the organization makes is as calculated as possible. In Oregon, healthcare organizations are required to report activity on a quarterly basis to the Oregon health authority, and this information then gets reported back out to constituents.
Ms. Leeper explains “We’re in the habit of getting that data and being pretty robust about figuring out our market share in a specific area, where patients are going…and then we track all of that information, trend it, and make it available internally so that people can do analysis on where we might want to upgrade, or facilities where there’s more demand for certain services.”
Despite their diligent work in creating strategies based off of this information, there was one burning hole: “We did not have a way to track our outpatient market share or see where those volumes are.” As the market continued to shift to outpatient settings, it became increasingly apparent that in order to figure out how to serve the community better, they really needed to get their hands on market data dealing with outpatient services in particular.
The Marketware Solution
This led her team on a search for a system that could take outpatient data and transform it into an actionable market insight. Viktoria notes, “After comparing two applications, I found Scout to offer much more in terms of usability and ease of use in data extraction, which are key for efficient data analysis. You want data in its granular form, in order to provide business intelligence to your stakeholders. Marketware has helped Providence continue in its expansion throughout the region.
Another feature that drew Providence to Scout was its integration with an industry leading data technology platform: “We looked at the fact that we were using the same technology internally, and realized that’s what Scout is built on, we said ‘Great, we already know how to use this product, so if we can just get our hands on the data, the implementation should be quite easy. We also knew our clients are also using this data technology’s products all the time, so that was one of the big selling points.”
The implementation process proved early on that Marketware wasn’t just in the business of delivering a product and simply moving on to the next client; from the beginning, they were committed to making sure Scout met Providence’s needs and expectations to the fullest degree. At first, the data set that was initially provided did not match some of the numbers on their end, as their organization was not used to using the unique, complex nature of claims data.
Marketware’s business intelligence team quickly stepped in and carefully switched their system over to a different data set and further customized their dashboards to make it the perfect solution for their day-to-day needs. Viktoria observes “Because of the way we interpret the data internally and the way our clients look at it, once we threw in additional functionality, such as filtering by service areas that are specific to us for example, all of that customization helped tremendously.”
Viktoria’s team uses Scout for the full spectrum of analysis and reporting. They are now able to use outpatient data to determine who their biggest competitors are and calculate market share in specific geographic areas. With regard to targeting specific physicians for outreach, she notes that “Before, we went by feel as to whom we should be reaching out to. Now the outreach team has analytic metrics to help identify those targets. It’s no longer a guessing game.”
Recently, Providence had a physician practice approach them with interest in being acquired. One of their physicians was retiring, and they were offering to negotiate an acquisition into Providence’s comprehensive system of services. Using Scout, Viktoria’s team was able to quickly answer crucial questions about that practice, including their percentage of Medicaid patients, and overall volume. This led them to accurately evaluate if this practice was good candidate for acquisition.
Providence also recently partnered with a health system in Southwest Washington. Because they didn’t have many facilities in that region at the time, they didn’t really know that particular market very well. In an effort to reduce risk, they turned to Scout to evaluate and determine exact figures for demand in that area. They also took a close look at the value of the services that were being offered, and what services could be upgraded.
One metric in particular from this past year stands out as evidence that this health system has remained steady in its course of increasing revenue. Last year’s target was to grow their year-over-year commercial revenue by 2% after inflation, but that number ended up being a solid 2.39%. Considering the actual dollar amount such a large organization would render with this figure, this clearly demonstrates significant growth.
What Viktoria and her team pulled away from this experience is the importance of investing time and effort into making sure that any organization’s data analytics system be thoroughly flexible enough to fit its needs: “It’s important to position a designated product owner internally to own the product, to support it, preferably with an analytics background. Claims data is different, and most healthcare organizations aren’t used to working with it. It’s important to have analytics resources do data reconciliation. Don’t use it in isolation, but rather, use it in conjunction with other data sources you already have in-house.”
She concludes “Expect that you might need to work though some data reconstructing to start, because claims data inherently is a bit messy. Be patient with it and get it to where it is most usable to the majority of your stakeholders.” Rely on Marketware’s industry expertise and willingness to work with you until the job is done.