Episode 109 // Jun 25, 2021

Podcast — Inside the mind of a disruptor

Featuring Summit Health's CMO, Matt Gove


  • Throughout his career, Matt has taken on the mindset of a disruptor. He was an early adopter of the title, Chief Consumer Officer, technologies like chatbots, and star rating systems.
  • Matt now works for Summit Health, the byproduct of a private equity-backed merger between CityMD and Summit Medical Group.

Advantages of working in a non-hospital system 

  • Because Summit Health operates largely in the urgent care setting and doesn't own hospitals, they're not bogged down by fixed costs or financial dependence on high acuity admissions.
  • Instead, Summit Health can focus on delivering the best possible care and experience outside of a hospital setting. Summit Health, however, does partner with hospitals and physicians to accommodate high acuity cases.
  • The transition from fee-for-service to value-based care forces hospitals to replace lost revenue from the top of the funnel with revenue from high acuity settings.
  • Summit Health has low acuity access points with retail-like infrastructure in denser urban settings to provide easy access to high-quality care. This network infrastructure works because care and financial incentives are aligned. 

How to leverage consumer data and understand the consumer  

  • For the first 5-10 years of his healthcare career, Matt listened to doctors, administrators, surveys, and focus groups, to understand consumers rather than listening to the data.
  • He found that this produces a skewed understanding of our audiences because the patient may see – or report – preferences different than they are in reality. For example, patients may weight quality higher than their behaviors suggest.  

A little healthy discord on the importance of brand 

  • According to Matt, in healthcare, brand don't impact patient decisions and needs. Instead, he recommends direct response advertising meant to drive people into your funnel and downward.
  • Matt concedes that healthcare brand advertising can be effective when introducing a new brand or if your system has a large, easily accessible, low acuity service line such as urgent care centers.
  • Brand advertising, in Matt's opinion, may serve internal purposes, however. For instance, some physicians and staff members may derive value from advertising because it recognizes their accomplishments.
  • Chris agrees that brand advertising for clout is not productive but believes that brand is about driving people to take action to engage with you.

Focus on physician relations 

  • Doctors play a huge role in keeping patients in a system because they're making the referrals. To improve, we need to understand what drives physician referral behavior.
  • This is a "ground war" approach that is extremely difficult but yields a high return.
  • Marketers should consider operational blockers to simplify referral documentation for doctors.

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