8 Ways CAHs Can Start Addressing Population Health Today

Posted on April 21, 2015


Why are some people healthy and others are not? How does a person's ZIP code really affect their health? According to a new report, as the healthcare industry accelerates its transition from a fee-for-service model to a value-based one, population health initiatives will be larger than ever in 2015.

Hospitals are in the business of caring for the sick and the ACO shift to focusing on health and wellness is a cultural adjustment that we just aren't used to. After all, if the health of the population improves, won't that keep people out of the hospital? There are a variety of reasons why it is necessary for critical access hospitals (CAH) to implement population health strategies. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also builds patient trust and loyalty and increases market share. In our post about turning competition into opportunities, we explored the M&A wave, explaining how mergers and acquisitions can be beneficial for CAHs to strengthen their value proposition.

But, a partnership, merger or acquisition isn't always better. CAHs are heavily linked to the communities they serve and many are well positioned to thrive in the changing marketplace by developing effective population health strategies.

Here are 8 smart marketing activities CAHs can do today to get started:

  1. Start paying closer attention to recruitment/retention and employee satisfaction.
  2. Have marketing staff get involved in community workgroups, committees and task forces that address population health needs.
  3. Work with HR to develop and/or implement employee wellness programs to encourage healthy behaviors.
  4. Engage staff in conversations.
  5. Include population health on the agenda at meetings.
  6. Focus marketing efforts to the uninsured.
  7. Reach out to the community and engage in conversations with a wide variety of community partners and leaders.
  8. Keep boosting and increasing your community presence/engagement through your marketing efforts. Get the CFO involved and discuss charity care, bad debts and community benefit reporting.

Stay tuned to the next few posts where I'll explore other challenges facing critical access leaders such as physician engagement/recruitment and pay-per-performance models.

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Organic reach: Is it dead?

Posted on April 7, 2015


No. Not even close. Many opinion bloggers and industry writers may think so. To us here at Legato, we see opportunity for you.

In case you missed it, Facebook dropped big news in January, announcing to its users that they will see fewer promotional posts in their news feeds.  To brand pages (or hospital and health system pages), this means your posts should expect organic reach to fall significantly over time.

Specifically, Facebook is making it harder for posts that push products, services, application installs and promotions. Essentially, what Facebook is trying to say is that you need to reach your audience by buying an ad. That message shouldn't come as a surprise; in fact, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

If you think your Facebook pages are now worthless-think again. Facebook is only trying to surface content that people care about. So while the number of people you reach may have dropped, the quality of those people has probably increased.

Here are 3 reasons to keep your Facebook brand pages:

1. Amazing content is king.
First, and foremost, you have to create content that keeps fans coming back. Think about your audience and what they will find value in. Create content that entertains, informs or otherwise engages your audience. This is a critical piece in boosting engagement and visibility on Facebook.

2. Facebook ad boosts aren't expensive.
In fact, for as little as $1 per day, you will get in front of thousands of people who wouldn't have seen you otherwise. If you are doing that and your competitors aren't, you're winning. With more than 1.19 billion monthly active users and an advanced set of targeting options, you can place your best posts in front of a very targeted audience. When done correctly, advertising can greatly improve visibility and engagement.

Advertising on Facebook will be necessary to boost visibility on posts, attract more fans and increase engagement. We can no longer think of Facebook as a free advertising platform. Those days are over.

3. Fan engagement is increasing.
Despite the drop in organic reach, many pages are seeing an increase in engagement on their pages and page posts. This is because Facebook's algorithm is getting smarter. The small percentage of fans who do see a page's posts are the fans who are most likely to engage with the post. Although Facebook pages are reaching a smaller audience, they are reaching a more engaged audience and building a core group of engaged users.

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