Lifepoint Health Takes Its Physician Relations Program Up a Notch with Ascend PRM Solution
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
If you could get a physician to refer 100 percent of his or her patients to your hospital or health system, what would that be worth? If the physician refers to specialists, such as neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons, it could be worth $2.5 million to $3 million in annual revenue, according to Bryce Bartel, CEO of Marketware. Marketware’s physician relationship management (PRM) solution, Ascend, is designed to help health systems grow volume and retain referrals. Physician liaisons are key to this effort.
Lifepoint Health, with hospitals and other healthcare facilities in 22 states, uses Marketware’s Ascend solution to manage its physician relations program and team of 67 physician liaisons. Mitzi Kent, RN, BSN, is Senior Director of Physician Relations & Industry at Lifepoint Health. “When I came on board here two and a half years ago, we didn’t really have set processes in place for documenting our visits with physicians, or following a true issue-resolution process,” says Kent. “Our goal is to understand what the barriers are, and why physicians choose to send their patients elsewhere.”
Two-thirds of referral decisions are made by physicians, and they frequently split referrals among different organizations—even employed physicians sometimes refer patients to other organizations, “leaking” revenue to competitors. The physician liaison’s role is to build and solidify relations with referring physicians, and grow referral revenues for key service lines or regions.