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September 23, 2013 | Blog

Good and Bad News about Integration: A New Organization May Provide an Old Excuse

Our Sept 18 blog noted that integration—both horizontal, among medical practices, and vertical, among hospitals, physicians and other providers— is reconfiguring the healthcare landscape and redefining relations between representatives and their customers.

The following question, submitted by an attendee of our webinar, “What Physicians Think about Healthcare Reform… And What Sales Reps Need to Know,” considers such changes from the frontlines:

“What is the best way for a rep to find out how physicians practice and how they integrate horizontally?  Will providers find this question intrusive?”

In a July 2013 SPBT Focus Magazine online interview, Dr. Anthony Slonim notes that physicians in ACOs, at least,  tend to be “thought leaders and early adopters” who would welcome questions about their practice’s organization. He further recommends meeting with ACO executives as well, to get a clear sense of an organization’s vision and priorities.

For physicians in any type of organization, the key may be how the question is positioned. If it’s clear that your goal is providing information and services that are of genuine value to the physician, and that  understanding the practice’s integration structure will help you do that better, your questions become purposeful rather than intrusive.

We’ll leave you on a good news-bad news note. Dr Mark Sorrentino suggests that, “physicians may well be delighted to have you ask about their practice’s structure and organization.”

That’s the good news.

“It lets them say that, as much as they enjoy meeting with you, their practice’s new protocols prevent them from doing so.”

And there you have the bad news: a new organization may provide an old excuse.

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