Diagnosing Non-Consumption

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A post by guest-blogger Brian Tolle.

Bob Moesta and I took some time recently to digest an article (Recent Shifts in Place of Service for Noninvasive Diagnostic Imaging: Have Hospitals Missed an Opportunity?) which appeared in the Journal of the American College of Radiology this past month.

The article talks about how from 1996 to 2006, private physician offices saw a 63% jump in Medicare noninvasive diagnostic imaging (NDI), emergency departments a 77% increase, while hospital inpatient facilities saw only a 15% increase and outpatient facilities a 25% increase. As the title implies, the authors took the approach that hospitals dropped the ball in keeping this market share and now need to scramble to regain some of it.

The more Bob and I analyzed this, the more we suspected this may not be a story of market share being stolen away but the market expanding by tapping into the non-consumption demographic – those folks who don’t follow up with prescribed diagnostic imagings because it’s inconvenient to get to the hospital after the appointment with their doctor. We suspect that the convenience of getting the procedure done right then and there in the physician’s office is driving a good percentage of the increase in the physician office.

If this is the case, should hospitals spend limited resources on playing this game with little or no chance of winning? Do they “jump in” to the outpatient NDI market or “jump out” by partnering with physician practices?

Tell us what you think…where we may be off base or on target.

About Brian Tolle
Brian Tolle is President of The Tolle Group and also authors Corporate X-Ray, a blog that looks at the impact of corporate culture in the business world. He has a Masters of Science degree in Organization Development from Loyola University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from The Catholic University of America.

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