Marketing Narrow Networks
Narrow networks have created a host of challenges for hospitals and healthcare organizations. These days, if you’re not part of a narrow network, you’re likely competing with one.
Some fear that by creating these networks, insurers are not only capping prices, but they are putting a lid on quality and consumer choice. And it’s healthcare practitioners who pay the financial price — seeing payment rate cuts as deep as 30 percent after negotiations are finished and payor demands are met.
Initially, I shared these pessimistic views on narrow networks, viewing them solely as a negative.
I saw them as an artificial way for payors to drive down prices by steering volume to lower-price hospitals,which are almost always lower price because they have excess capacity. This excess capacity can stem from the fact that lower cost hospitals with substantial excess capacity are:
- Actually lower quality.
- Perceived to be lower quality.
- Lacking the amenities and customer service to attract customers.
Yet recently, I’ve changed my mind. Narrow networks can present potential pitfalls, but they also have an upside in some cases. You must tread carefully to make any narrow network strategy pay off for your organization.
Health systems need to have the ability to communicate value and educate key audiences about their offerings. When it comes to discussing narrow networks, value should be the driver, not just price — and value is not being communicated well by many provider organizations in the country right now.
To help you accomplish that goal, ReviveHealth has created a new guide that explains narrow networks and offers you five steps to navigate them successfully.
The 5 Steps to Navigating Narrow Networks Guide can help you reverse negative trends with:
- Tips on how to negotiate – should you offer discounts or stick to your guns?
- Advice on how to talk about narrow networks to consumers.
- Ideas on how to brand your organization and emphasize your strengths.
Narrow networks may be inevitable for the moment, but by positioning yourself properly you cannot only survive them, you can help your organization thrive.