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The Value of Boutiques in a Big-Box Store World

February 2017 Blog, The Business of Health Care Comments Off on The Value of Boutiques in a Big-Box Store World

Once upon a time, Main Street America was filled with specialty shops that reflected the unique character of the proprietors and offered us very personalized attention. When we looked for a special occasion dress the owner took pride in helping find the perfect fit and if it wasn’t available in the store, they would order it, tailor it, and give us the detailed attention we desired. The florist knew our partner’s favorite color roses and the pharmacist understood the specific health challenges of our families. Specialization and expertise at retail points of purchase are increasingly rare nowadays.

Today we enjoy the convenience of one-stop shopping at national chains that carry the same goods from coast to coast. Our time is valuable so we gravitate towards what is expedient. These mass marketers strive to cover all our needs under one roof. Their big data systems optimize the shelf space, but often I find the selection average. And while it satisfies routine purchases, it falls short when I seek something more unique and personal. For example, while wine is available in the supermarket, I prefer the guidance of the specialty sommelier who helps me better match taste and value. Big box retail stores are losing relevance, while e-commerce and specialty stores grow in appeal.

Healthcare follows similar trends resulting from the ubiquitous goals to drive down cost and operationalize care for all medical conditions on both the payer and provider fronts. Sometimes these efficiencies are great. I have a local medical office building where I can see my PCP, many specialists, get radiology tests, lab work, physical therapy, and pharmacy all under one roof. I love my PCP, however, sometimes I need a specialist outside of the system and when she has the wisdom to send me to “the best” I am grateful to find a resource who focuses day in and day out on my specific health problem.

What makes ProgenyHealth remarkable? 100% of our staff focuses on NICU Population Health. Not only are our clinicians NICU specialists, but our IT platform, analytics, and mobile app are also devoted to improving the health of fragile NICU babies. All our operational decisions and capital investments are as well. The work we do on a daily basis builds toward improving NICU results, not just for our clients, but for the NICU families we serve too. Our dedicated ProgenyHealth clinical teams are measured on the health and wellness outcomes of the NICU babies we manage.

Health plans sometimes tell me that the resources we offer are already part of their “core business,” yet the NICU babies that always fall in the top 1% of utilizers represent less than .04% of Medicaid plan members and less than .005% for commercial payers and employers. How much focus can this small population get among the competing demands of a health plan? Hospitals often think they are best at addressing the care of babies presented in their NICUs, but their perspective can be skewed by their local talent and legacy practices. They compete for resources with all other departments, they are often not geared to address non-clinical challenges, they have not historically invested in medical management, and they lose continuity of care when the baby is discharged. Is the “big-box store” approach ideal for a small, highly specialized ICU population?

Imagine if your organization could focus on only one critical population.

At ProgenyHealth, we have had the benefit of specializing in NICU care management for 14 years. Our continued growth and success reflects the strength of that concentration. Our Health Plan clients and provider partners acknowledge that our patient-centered model that focuses exclusively on NICU babies, provides consistent and reproducible results. We thrive because the attention, personalization, and expertise that we share delivers exceptional outcomes. As a result, we help each client and each family succeed, one baby at a time.

About Our Author:
Marcia Wasserman is the Director of Strategic Accounts at ProgenyHealth.  She is a dynamic and accomplished professional with a proven track record creating business partnerships with a focus on improving health outcomes.