Effective healthcare practice relies on strong management. There is no way around it. Without strong leadership driving your organization forward, even the simplest processes can seem daunting.
Hospitals, health systems, post-acute providers, insurers and other medical professionals routinely look to consultants to help strengthen their organizational leadership. However, with no shortage of healthcare management consultants fighting for your business, it’s easy to make the wrong choice.
Purchasers of consulting services are finding it increasingly difficult to choose the right healthcare management consulting services. Finding the best among the consulting masses shouldn’t have to be such a challenge. Here are some simple suggestions to help you find the best value in your healthcare management consultant.
Assess the Strengths and Weaknesses of a Preferred Healthcare Management Consulting Firm
Regardless of what is advertised, every healthcare management consulting firm is bound to have its particular area of strengths and weaknesses. There are those that are stronger in particular sectors or specific operational functions, while others are more inept to boosting patient satisfaction and streamlining office flow. The truth is no two healthcare consulting firms are the same. The only similarity between firms is the fact that they all aspire to gain your business. As a buyer of consulting services, be cautious to differentiate between firms that provide recent, relevant experience and those who simply claim they have it.
The true strength of any healthcare consulting firm is a combination of the level of expertise that the consultants who perform the actual work harbor and the efficiency of the analytic tools they use. More often, the “senior professionals” who sell the product are not the actual people working on your project. It is paramount to interview and probe the depth of experience of the actual engagement team members through active questioning. In almost any case, time-accumulated wisdom will always trump textbook knowledge.
Keep an Eye Open for Conflicts of Interest
It’s important to ensure that all conflicts of interest, as well as the mechanism used by the firm to protect confidentiality, are expressly discussed and routinely reviewed. With frequent consolidation via formal integration, coalitions and partnerships, it is essential that all relationships/affiliations are disclosed and in other cases, consulting firms barred from consideration when conflicts present a risk to the objectiveness of the work being completed.
As costs keep increasing in the industry and employers as well as insurers change their motivation from volume to value, the health care management consulting activity will rise in every sector. Some of the considerations that you should incorporate into the selection process include:
As a purchaser of consulting services, you have the right to know the manner in which the delivery team is compensated including what factors are considered in their review as well as how they are rewarded according to the client’s activity.
Check the Invoices:
Every firm tries to refrain from eliciting “other” expenses aside from travel reimbursement. Make sure you closely scrutinize billings from consultants and query all the curious line item expenses. “Reasonable costs” for travel and meals should be specified as well as the routine auditing of the hours being charged for work completed.
Look for Direct Industry Experience:
Hire firms that have the ability to provide hospital operations management consultancy with technical expertise and significant subject-matter rather than the “professional consultants” who mostly focus on relationship management and sales.
Healthcare management consulting is a highly competitive industry. Each firm is always changing its emphasis to accommodate legislative mandates or breaking trends. Most of them sell their experience and try to explain the reasons for the difference in their approaches. All the firms heavily rely on relationships with their current clients, recognizing the fact that the majority of future revenues are obtained from current buyers.
It is no doubt that health care consulting continues to play an important role in the transformation of the health care system. Discover for yourself just how valuable proper management consulting can be with help from ALTIUS. Our team of industry professionals is able to apply real-world experience to every engagement in order to encourage revitalization and continued sustainability. Contact us for a free performance analysis and let us help you reach your peak!