United Urology Group: Growing Practice Uses Data Analysis
United Urology Group Overview
United Urology Group (UUG) formed in 2006 when Dr. Sanford Siegel, brought together his practice of 14 physicians, 15 doctors from Maryland Urology Associates and 7 additional physicians from the area. Dr. Siegel and Drs. Smyth and Lerner, heads of the other groups, shared a vision of expanded and improved services for their patients, as well as more control over the group’s relationships with patients, hospitals and insurance companies.
Executing on that strategy has helped the group grow into the largest urology practice in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region. They provide a comprehensive array of urologic services to patients in the region and across the country, many of whom travel long distances to receive advanced treatments.
The practice now houses 55 urologists and 15 physician assistants working across 21 offices and 18 ambulatory surgical centers spread throughout Maryland.
As the practice rapidly moved into new territories, tools were needed that could help: 1) locate physicians who can provide strategic partnerships, 2) track referral patterns to build loyalty, 3) refine and standardize the process of physician outreach to increase efficiency and profits, 4) utilize data to support growth strategies, identify new/existing opportunities and improve ROI.
- Market intelligence from claims data, EHR/EMR displayed in aesthetic, user-friendly dashboards
- Data analysis tools to research competitors & optimal physician recruits when opening new locations
- Planning, tracking & reporting features in a relationship management tool specifically designed for healthcare
- Key players, from marketing, to business development & executive teams — can assess competition by seeing top referring physicians & how much volume/revenue they’re contributing individually — identified referral partners tied to non-UUG providers contributed to 200% referral increase for the practice
- Growth strategy assumptions can be adjusted based on market analysis data, which showed UUG already had market dominance in a potential area for a satellite office & saved them millions in operational dollars
- Ramping up in new territories has been made more efficient through the use of, Marketware’s Physician Relationship Management (PRM) & Healthcare Analytics platforms
- ROI has been trackable & demonstrable through Marketware product features & compatibility with Google, Microsoft, etc.
- Physician outreach teams can use mobile devices to track progress daily from the field
Use Data Analysis to Expand into New Markets
After serving Maryland for 10 years, United Urology Group expanded to cover the mid-Atlantic region, and is now broadening its reach to patients nationally.
The practice has successfully entered new markets, but not without encountering obstacles. As with any specialty practice trying to establish itself in new areas, UUG was faced with the challenge of developing a patient base through the various referral sources in the area.
Ryan Swailes, a UUG physician liaison and key player in facilitating their expansion, understood that the old standard methods of physician outreach weren’t going to yield the desired results. He saw the need for a strategy that would target the right referral sources in new markets and knew he needed a solution that would provide two critical missing elements: information and organization.
The Right Tools for the Job
As with most physician liaisons, Ryan spends much of his day in the field or on the phone, communicating with physicians to establish them as a referral source or retain their business. Those invaluable efforts to build physician relationships can be difficult to track, and that’s where Marketware comes in.
Ryan has come to depend on the organizational features of Marketware’s PRM, to keep his outreach efforts focused and efficient, particularly when moving into new territories. Because it is the only PRM built specifically for the unique needs of relationship managers working in healthcare, it provides practical solutions that others don’t. Before Marketware, Ryan used Salesforce, but was often frustrated with the workarounds necessary to store physician-specific information.
Marketware’s PRM also provides actionable and understandable data, where other don’t with a fully integrated Healthcare Analytics platform. So using the data points available through claims data and internal data, Ryan can discover untapped market share in his territories, assess which physicians most urgently need outreach and form strategies that yield high ROI.
Harness Data to Build Sustainable Referral Relationships
When moving into any new territory, the key to success is preparedness. In the past, much of that prep work at UUG was done without the aid of a data analysis tools, making it difficult to research physician behaviors. Ryan hoped to change that when he recommended to leadership that they implement Marketware. When searching for a PRM to replace Salesforce, he immediately realized the impact Marketware’s integrated platforms could have on outreach. He was able to demonstrate that:
- Due diligence before moving into new territories would be simpler & more reliable
- The integration of Marketware’s powerful data analytics into their PRM, could provide insight into his markets with the click of a few buttons on his laptop or phone
- Data analysis displayed in color-coded dashboards would allow him to track & easily demonstrate ROI
Having access to market data has given Ryan a competitive edge when it comes to getting new practice locations up and running quickly, and he says, “Marketware has especially helped me in areas where I’m unfamiliar with the market and where we’re ‘the new kids in town.’ We put a new office in Montgomery County, Maryland, where there was an established urology group, and I’ve been able to look into their urologists, find their network connections and go after their top people. Marketware really helps me hone in on the people I need to spend the most time with.”
Ryan can use the data to understand physician challenges and position UUG as the best referral partner. Those insights into each physician’s needs have helped him make every communication as meaningful as possible.
Form a Plan, Execute a Strategy
Business intelligence offers Ryan significant competitive advantage, but that isn’t enough. In addition to physician insight from claims and internal data, he needs to plan, track and measure outreach efforts using that information. Marketware’s PRM is his go-to for those needs.
According to Ryan, the PRM has allowed UUG to make several improvements to their physician outreach program. Particularly when expanding into a new territory, Ryan has used it, coupled with market data pulled from Marketware, to be more strategic with his deployment of liaisons. He can see all the doctors in a region who are referring to urologists, as well as their referral volume, revenue and payer mix. He can even mine the data for service line-level information, giving him more insight into how best to approach specific physicians.
When it comes to reaching physicians on a more personal level, Ryan can improve service by leveraging the product’s customer service management features. By logging his communications in an activity tracker, physicians are reassured he’s aware of their specific needs and challenges and working to address them — whether he’s made a visit, follow-up call or emailed. Most importantly, these capabilities are all available through a mobile app, which Ryan classifies as the PRM’s most appealing feature. He can take what he needs wherever he goes, which is crucial to liaisons like himself who spend so much time on the road.
Share Information, Prove Value
Expanding into the mid-Atlantic region has been exciting for UUG, but it has also come with new challenges, such as managing the collaborative nature of physician recruiting and retention when growth is rapid. One way UUG has mitigated this challenge is by using Marketware to share information between departments.
For example, Pat Schnably, VP of Marketing & Communications at UUG, frequently uses Marketware’s Analytics to assess market share, particularly how they stack up against their biggest competitors. Not only can Pat see how United Urology Group is performing compared to other urology providers in the area, but she can also evaluate how UUG’s incoming referral volumes and revenues are trending over time. She can then cross-reference the outreach efforts being tracked in the PRM by the physician relations team. Spikes in referral volume, or patients coming in from first-time referrers, can often be directly correlated to increased outreach activities in the time leading up to those referrals. Downward trends in referral patterns can also be spotted and shared with the liaison responsible, who can then reach out to address the physician’s needs.
This interdepartmental information sharing enabled by Marketware product’s have been a key advantage for UUG, and has allowed them to position themselves strategically in new markets as they’ve expanded across the U.S.
Growth in your practice is possible, just as it’s been for United Urology Group. Consider these tips:
- When looking for new referral sources, be sure to use market data to target the right physicians who best fit your practice
- Market data, when combined with your practice’s internal data, can give insight into what your physicians might need from your practice, & will help you develop a plan to make your outreach more effective
- Strategic conversations with providers will demonstrate that you understand their specific challenges & help resolve them
- Healthcare specific PRM allows physician liaisons to better track activities, making their efforts more impactful, & 2) the considerable value of their role to practice growth & ROI more recognizable