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Physicians and marketers must better align themselves


Competition for patients is at an all-time high and reimbursement systems are rapidly changing, which makes healthcare institutions, physicians and marketers increasingly nervous. So it’s more important than ever for physicians and marketers to align around a common agenda for business growth.

However, marketers and physicians too often struggle to understand each other’s objectives and constraints, as we at Cambridge Management Group (CMG) have  found again and again in our work across America.

“Physicians wonder why the marketers’ efforts aren’t getting them more appointments. And marketers complain that the physicians’ focus on complex cases doesn’t produce good blogs,” said corporate anthropologist Andrea Simon, Ph.D., founder and chief executive of Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC). “Rather than butting heads, these two groups need to team up, so that they can effectively acquire new healthcare customers.”

With that goal in mind, a webinar will outline a process to help create much more productive physician-marketer partnerships.

The free, hour-long session — How The Physician-Marketing Partnership Leads To New Patients — starts at noon, EDT, on Friday, June 12. It’s just the latest webinar in the Healthcare Innovation: Trends from the Trenches series, created by Simon in 2013. To register now, please click here.

Besides Ms. Simon, the hosts will be Linda MacCracken and Timothy Crowley, M.D. Both are national leaders in physician and healthcare institution alignment and marketing. Ms. MacCracken has collaborated closely with  Cambridge Management Group on various projects, as has Dr. Crowley, who has been a CMG senior adviser.

Ms. MacCracken is a strategist focused on physician-aligned patient engagement. She is heading innovation for Accenture Provider Health’s Customer Relationship Management program and teaches marketing to physician executives at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

She has worked in and with health systems to increase patient volumes, open networks and boost customer engagement, as an independent consultant and as chief marketing/strategy officer at Solucient/Thomson Reuters/Truven Health Analytics. Ms. MacCracken has led teams to achieve such results as boosting market share by 15 percentage points, lifting a health system to #1 in its market from #3, boosting physician-engagement ratings to the top 10 percent nationally and launching profitable services that exceed targets.

She is a frequent speaker at such national forums as those run by the Society of Healthcare Strategy and Marketing.

Dr. Crowley, an internist and expert in physician-network development and management, is president of Pinnacle Health Medical Group, in Harrisburg, Pa.

Healthcare organizations call upon Dr. Crowley to turn around and optimize the financial performance of struggling employed physician groups suffering unsustainable losses. His extensive experience in both the fee-for-service and capitated-risk-reimbursement systems is valuable to organizations trying to manage the “pivot” from fee for service to capitated risk reimbursement in their nascent Accountable Care Organization development efforts.

Since taking the Pinnacle post last year, his achievements there have included raising the average percentage of physicians’ contract work hours actually spent in front of patients to 90 percent from 59 percent; increasing new-patient visits by 20,000, and cutting the “loss’’ per physician to zero from $100,000.

Dr. Crowley’s experience in creating and developing the Cardiovascular Institute at the Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, in Boston, helps systems contemplating similar models with their high-margin specialists.

As senior vice president at Caritas Christi HealthCare, Tim Crowley was directly responsible for more than 400 employed physicians and a total of 1,200 practitioners in the system. In a single year, his leadership and innovative methods significantly contributed to turning around the system from a $50 million loss to a $30 million operating gain.


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