Category: Healthcare

03 May 2018

In healthcare, some thrive. But some struggle to survive

I’m sitting in the waiting area across the endoscopy room of a major hospital. Mindless talkshow TV runs in the background. Patients are waiting. Patiently. Looking up anxiously every now and then from their phones. Towards the reception desk.

It’s a scene I’ve experienced for years while working in healthcare. While waiting for doctors.

But there’s something different in the air now.

Patients like those around me will encounter a doctor who’s excited and enthusiastic. But some will meet another who’s dreading her career.

Healthcare is changing faster than ever before.

It’s just not about technology disruption. There are many forces at play. Change in patient and societal behavior. Challenging finances. Evolving policy. Dichotomy of unmet supply and unmet demand for care.

Why some thrive and some struggle to survive

The doctor I’m about to meet is in the thriving category. He and his colleagues are excited about creating a new field. In endoscopic surgery. Yes, it’s what you think it is. Surgery while inserting a tube into your gut. Complex. New. Innovative.

And just the other day, I was scheduled for a video chat with a group of doctors at another hospital. A couple of days prior to the call, I learnt that the hospital suddenly terminated their contract. It’s possible that they are being replaced by nurse practitioners to save money.

I come across doctors from both ends of the spectrum. Excited on one end. Depressed on the other. Some even leave medicine for good.

How does this happen?

Doctors start making real money only in their mid 30s. After accumulating significant student loans. At that point in their career, they either choose to join private practice or find a job at a hospital.

The problem of being employed

Earlier, more doctors were inclined to go solo by developing their own practice. Newer generations of doctors increasingly want the comfort of a regular pay check and life-style.

However, being employed doesn’t take away from the fact that doctors are fiercely independent. While they are taught to give instructions in residency, they end up taking instructions from hospital administration. On the number of clinical procedures they must perform, the number of patients they must see and so on.

Eventually, they are disillusioned with the system. Medicine’s not what they had signed up for. However, they are stuck because they need the money (think student loan, mortgage, car loan, kids’ college fund etc.).

The problem of private practice

When in private practice, doctors are overwhelmed by the many, many balls that they need to juggle. Often to stay in the same place. They need to worry about getting paid correctly from insurance companies. Hiring and training staff. Getting their clinical codes right. Credentialing themselves with insurance panels. Fighting denials. Guarding themselves from law suits and audits. Interpreting long-winded healthcare laws (like MACRA). Dealing with complex technology.

It’s a tough life to go it alone.

Forgetting to unlearn. And re-learn

Eventually, doctors find a certain area within a specialty where they can make a predictable income. For example, there was a time when cardiologists made money from imaging. Despite an environment of declining cardiology reimbursements, some doctors continue to rely on income from reading EKGs.

Imagine what would they do when technology like AliveCor becomes mainstream. People with heart conditions might wear a personal EKG band. Further, the company recently announced that their technology can accurately interpret atrial fibrillation.

There’s more. Through big data analysis, they can even recognize patterns for hyperkalemia (or higher potassium levels) from the spikes and troughs of EKGs.

It’s all changing too fast.

The entire healthcare industry is in for a massive disruption. The key to ride such a wave is to forget fast. Because if you hang on to the past, you’ll be run over.

Losing meaning and purpose

After working hard to become doctors, many lose their way. There are many challenges that the healthcare industry poses before a doctor gets to simply see her patient. In navigating those challenges, doctors figure out ways to survive. And in surviving, they sometimes forget why they became doctors in the first place.

The relationship with patients becomes a routine, near commercial transaction. Not laced with the purity they had imagined in college. They adapt to circumstances. Medicine becomes a vocation. Not intellectually stimulating or challenging. And they enter a long tunnel of career stagnation. Only to be shaken up rudely by industry changes. Sometimes it’s technology. Sometimes it’s financial. Sometimes it’s regulatory or legal.

*

The other day, I was catching up with a friend on the west coast. She’s not in healthcare. She works at a large company that hasn’t kept up with the many changes in their industry.

I asked, “The bay area seems desperate for talent in machine learning. Why not take up an online course and get up to speed?” She’s those brainy ones. This would be right up her alley.

“Oh, I don’t get time from family, work, and myself,” she said.

“Don’t mind me saying this…but what’ll you do if they start lay-offs?” I asked with concern.

“May be, I’ll take a break from everything and learn stuff. May be like machine learning.”

“Why not do it now? Before that desperate point comes.”

“I don’t know. No time I guess…”

And that’s how it goes. Even in healthcare.

_

Originally published on LinkedIn,  by Praveen Suthrum, President & Co-Founder, NextServices. 

 

08 Jan 2018

SPARCS compliance reporting is changing. Here’s what you need to know now

The Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) is a comprehensive all payer data reporting system established by the New York State Department Of Health (NYSDOH).

The system is designed to collect patient level details such as patient demographics, diagnoses and treatments and charges for hospital inpatient stays and outpatient (ambulatory surgery, emergency department, and outpatient services) visits.

Facilities in New York are required to report data to SPARCS monthly to demonstrate compliance and avoid penalties.

Current data submission process

Under the current submission process, facilities submit SPARCS compliance data in an electronic, computer readable x12 837R format unique to requirements of the New York State. The data is transmitted to Department of Health’s Health Commerce System (HCS), where it is analyzed and response files are generated.

Revised data submission process

With the goal of standardizing data, the New York State Department Of Health (NYSDOH) will be using x225 837R format going forward. This is essentially x12 837I (standard used for submitting institutional claims) format with additional segment for race/ethnicity and NTE segment to collect source of payment and cardiac data elements.

NYSDOH has also partnered with Optum Government Solutions, Inc. for redesigning the processing system required for SPARCS.

Key points to consider:

            • Legacy system lack the utility to export data in 837I format. Facilities will need to check if their system provides data in the compatible format. If not, find a way to convert data into SPARCS compliant format.
            • The redesign of processing system may pose challenges with respect to the interface of the portal and method of submission within the portal.
            • NYSDOH is targeting complete implementation of the new system within 12 months.
            • Testing phase of SPARCS data submission in the new system begins on January 23rd 2018. Facilities can begin submitting test data to get comfortable with the nuances of the new submission method.
            • New format is applicable for Q4 2017 submissions and facilities are required to have at least one accepted claim for each claim type by April 30, 2018.
            • NYSDOH also requires 95% of the facility’s Q4 2017 data to be submitted as per the new format by June 30, 2018 and 100% of the facility’s Q4 2017 data to be submitted by Sep 30, 2018.

 

*Timelines are representative of current plan and are subject to change.

References:

New York State Department Of Health

SPARCS Operations Guide

Redesign of the SPARCS Submission Process

Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) Translation Project Stakeholder Meeting

We have been working with several clients and helping them comply with Meaningful Use, PQRS, ASCQR, SPARCS, HCRA and THCIC compliance programs. We have already developed technology to convert data into new SPARCS compliant format. Click here to get in touch and explore further.

 

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30 Dec 2017

Articles on 2018 Healthcare Industry Trends – All In One Place

blog_healthindustrytechnology

Are you wondering what you need know for 2018? Don’t worry. We did too. Here are all the major healthcare industry trends by leading publications. All in one place so that you don’t have to spend time searching to stay on top of your game.

1. Top 10 challenges facing physicians in 2018 – by Medical Economics

2. 2018 Global health care outlook – by Deloitte

3. The 4 most important healthcare trends in 2018 – by Becker’s Hospital Review

4. The 5 payer trends to watch in 2018 – by Healthcare Drive

5. Top 4 Healthcare Revenue Cycle, Finance Trends to Watch in 2018 – by RevCyleIntelligence.com

6. The 5 Big Questions About Health Insurance for 2018 – by ThinkAdvisor

7. Jump-start the new year with MACRA: Looking ahead to 2018 – by American Medical Association

8. The 12 Defining Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2018 – by HIT Consultant Media

9. Commentary: The Top 3 Digital Health Trends to Watch In 2018 – by Fortune

10. CMS Releases 2018 Medicare Payment Rules – by American Gastroenterological Association

 

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30 Dec 2017

Healthcare compliance and security articles and trends

Here are the most interesting healthcare compliance and security trends to watch out for during 2018.

1. 10 things physicians need to know about MACRA in 2018 – by Medical Economics

2. Healthcare Ransomware, Medical Device Security Key 2018 Trends – by HealthITSecurity.com

3. Top 2018 challenges healthcare executives face – by Managed Healthcare Executive

4. 2018 is primed for blockchain, big data and cloud computing advancements, all with a better security plan – by Healthcare IT News

5. What’s in Store for Health Technology in 2018? – by HealthTech

6. Jump-start the new year with MACRA: Looking ahead to 2018 – by American Medical Association

7. MACRA Quality Payment Program Final Rule: Implications for 2018 and Beyond – by The National Law Review

8. Healthcare Cybersecurity Top Digital Priority for Org Leaders – by HealthITSecurity.com

9. The 5 common HIPAA compliance pitfalls for healthcare orgs to avoid – by Healthcare IT News

 

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30 Dec 2017

Most Memorable Healthcare Industry Articles From 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, here’s a recap of healthcare industry articles that shaped our thinking.

1. Healthcare IT year in review, our best and most popular stories of 2017 – by Healthcare IT News

2. LinkedIn Top Voices 2017: Healthcare – Healthcare at LinkedIn

3. 2017’s top physician practice stories include payment reform, politics and changing business models – by FierceHealthcare

4. Yes, healthcare is spiraling out of balance. But can we counter that? – by NextServices

5. The 3 Biggest Healthcare Stories Of 2017 – by Forbes

6. Healthcare RCM, Medicare Reimbursement Dominate 2017 Stories – by RevCycleIntelligence.com

7. The 10 largest data breaches of 2017 – by Health Data Management

8. Top 5 Digital Health Trends: A Look Back At 2017 – Forbes

9. Healthcare Informatics’ Top 10 Stories of 2017 – by Healthcare Informatics

10. How Big Tech Is Going After Your Health Care – by The New York Times

 

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30 Dec 2017

Healthcare Technology Articles: Trends And Insights for 2018

Here are the most interesting healthcare technology articles focused on trends to watch out for during 2018 and beyond.

1. AI replacing doctors. What do doctors think about that? – by NextServices

2. 20 Medical Technology Advances: Medicine in the Future – by The Medical Futurist

3. 10 Predictions For A Global Healthcare Market Set To Cross The $1.85 Trillion Mark In 2018 – by Forbes

4. Top 10 predictions for healthcare IT in 2018 – by International Data Corporation/Health Data Management

5. How Big Tech Is Going After Your Health Care – by The New York Times

6. Predicting Analytics: 3 Big Data Trends in Healthcare – by HealthTech

7. 5 Digital Health Innovation Trends That Will Matter in 2018 – by HIT Consultant

8. How Blockchain, A.I. And Other Tech Trends Will Disrupt Healthcare In 2018 – by Forbes

9. 2018 is primed for blockchain, big data and cloud computing advancements, all with a better security plan – by Healthcare IT News

10. The 15 most-read HIT Think articles of 2017 – by Health Data Management

11. Blockchain: Opportunities for health care – by Deloitte

12. The Doctor’s Office of 2024 – 4 Predictions for the Future – by Software Advice

13. 4 Things Medtech Should Be Prepared for in 2018 – by Qmed

 

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06 Jul 2017

To survive (and thrive) in healthcare, you need a pipeline of ideas

 

There’s this myth that entrepreneurs take great risks. It may be true while starting out. But in reality, most long term entrepreneurs methodically de-risk. Do everything to reduce risk for their companies. Not increase it.

Several startups go belly up in risking too many eggs in one product or one investor or one client. Including some very large startups.

More times than not, market forces work against you. Not for you.

You already know this.

To survive (and thrive), you need a pipeline of ideas. Particularly in healthcare. A complicated, slow-moving beast.

Sometimes in this industry, the function of one product or service is to simply lead to the next. Or, the one after that.

In such a game, your ability to acutely focus on what clients want and will pay for is key. It’ll keep your lights on.

Then when something takes off, it’ll get the rest of your portfolio to take off.

A “page turner” that no one cared about

Entrepreneurs (like me) often obsess about things that no one cares about. We burn time and money on those obsessions.

When we first built our enki electronic health record (EHR), the mobile version excited us. One of the doctors we interviewed indicated that he’d love for the EHR to resemble his paper charts.

We took that feedback to heart. Spent inordinate amount of resources in building that feedback into a feature in our mobile app. Each section of the patient’s chart would flip like a real page. It looked great and we loved it!

But our clients really didn’t care much for that feature. All that mattered to doctors was the ability to complete a chart quickly. Move onto the next patient. Flipping a page was lower in the order of priorities.

This “page-turner” and other features delayed our launch endlessly. We spent our time making our creation more and more beautiful (not just “good enough” to move onto the next step). It left no money or time for marketing.

Thankfully we had other sources of revenue that kept us going. Even while we learnt from these mistakes and built our next product or service. And the next.

What we now observe is one service or product often triggers our clients to buy our other products. Because they already love us and what we do. Now many of our clients use everything we’ve built.

Allow them take complete advantage of you

Say you wish to start a smart footwear company for senior citizens. The sensors would alert an app when there are abnormalities in mobility.

Instead of running after funding first, spend $500 online. Buy sensors and strap it to footwear. Figure out how to send basic signals to your phone. Build a prototype that your potential buyers can use.

Then just give it to your customers to use it. And watch.

Your beta users will show you what they like and dislike.

If you listen keenly, they will exactly tell you what they will pay for.

Focus on what they want versus what you want.

Observe your users (senior citizens in this example) and their environment. So closely that you know them more than they know themselves.

Ask yourself this question: How can they take complete advantage of you?

You will be surprised with the number of ideas you would get when you answer that question. Because you would be bringing the focus to them.

May be there are caregivers and doctors who have certain needs in monitoring your customer. Or, may be there’s everyday furniture that can become smarter. Or, may be there’s a need for “smart” walking canes that sense movement.

May be, the footwear needs to connect with other devices giving richer analysis of data. Or, you could develop a subscription plan and offer the footwear free.

You’ll arrive at endless possibilities for growth. When you bring all your attention to your customers. They will tell you what you need to build next. You simply need to listen and respond. With everything you got.

Never run out of ideas

A tree with many roots doesn’t get blown away when the winds are strong.

Not only do the roots keep it grounded, they also provide renewed sources of water. If one root dries out, it can feed itself from another. Roots run long and source water from many different terrains.

Successful healthcare businesses are no different. Longevity helps in this industry. With experience, you will find many sources of revenues. One product leads to another. One service evolves into many branches.

All you have to do is listen. And respond to your sources of water.

_

Originally published on LinkedIn,  by Praveen Suthrum, President & Co-Founder, NextServices. 

 

27 Jun 2017

How to grow your startup…even if VCs don’t love you

 

Big meeting rooms with shiny tables make me uncomfortable. Like that room inside the offices of that big-name VC firm.

Even as I waited, I lusted after the logos of many a known startup. They were displayed on plaques outside the room.

(Some of them are bust today. But back then it didn’t matter.)

Then he came. The investor. Eating something. Crumbs.

“Show me something that you have that no one else has!”

That was almost the opening line.

Right, I thought. Imagine hearing something like that on a first date.

My next thought was to recall the cost of the flight tickets that brought us to this meeting. Then my time. I could’ve met clients. Trained our people.

Or, I could’ve at least gone for a movie.

Ouch, I thought. But decided to go along since I was already there.

“Look,” he said midway through the demo. He was staring into his phone. “We would want you to get to a $500 million valuation. Or, go bust!”

Go bust? But what about our clients? And our people?

(Wasn’t it a 50 Cent movie? Get Rich or Die Tryin’)

Just valuation.

Not real money. Like profits. Or even revenues.

“But that’s our model,” the investor said. He was looking at me now.

“Oh,” I responded.

A day later, to close the loop I told him we weren’t a fit.

Well, he already knew that.

Thinking about growth differently

No meeting really is futile. Those kind of meetings (yes, there were a few) helped me discover the Healthcare Footprint Finder. A practical strategy to grow your business in healthcare.

Another VC-friend-of-a-friend told me this in confidence:

In reality, most of us don’t understand healthcare. Or, how to sell to businesses within healthcare. The industry is too complicated. That’s why we ask for traction. If there’s demand then it reduces the risk for us.

I know. Healthcare is complex.

Everything takes time. Your first product is often the means to your next one or the one after that.

If you can’t stay put, you’ll surely go bust.

In 2012, 2,000+ electronic health record (EHR) companies went through the gate of Meaningful Use Stage 1 (part of the erstwhile Obamacare). By 2015 the time of Stage 2, only 200+ companies passed through the gate.

It’s now time for Stage 3. The game gets narrower.

Healthcare requires staying power. Where you need to make real money. Not just play the valuation game.

Because even if you get an investor onboard, they will lose patience in trying fuel you again and again.

But how do you stay on in healthcare? By finding your next big idea.

And how do you find your next big idea? By looking around your existing footprint.

Observe your clients in action. You will discover many unmet needs. They may not be able to verbalize them for you. But if you work closely with them, those needs will begin to leap out at you.

Our company started by selling billing services to gastroenterologists. Today we sell sophisticated endoscopy report writing software to the same clients. We also sell MACRA compliance services and a cloud-based EHR platform. To the same clients.

We got the idea of creating software by looking around our existing footprint. Looking for newer ways to be useful to people who already love us and our work. Observing what was bothering them. Solving their problems.

That’s how it happens. We use the Healthcare Footprint Finder model to grow.

When you approach growth this way, you will have a pipeline of services and products to develop. Because client needs become the starting point. Not random ideas. This way, your new product is likely to sell from Day 1.

Without hankering for funding, you would focus on the right things for your company.

So, VCs or not?

There’s no right answer. It depends on what you want and what the business wants. At that point of time. It also depends on finding the right investor. Does the person getting on your board understand you and your vision?

There are many fine examples of entrepreneurs who’ve ditched the elevator pitch altogether. Built fantastic companies.

Jason Fried from Basecamp. Ramit Sethi from IWT. Ben Chestnut from Mailchimp. Steve Rayson from BuzzSumo.

It’s the market that sustains them. Their business models are regenerative. Always alive. In tune with client needs.

They focus on quality vs quantity. User success vs user acquisition. Sustainable growth vs quick exits.

Mara Zepada of Switchboard and Jennifer Brandel of Hearken call these companies Zebras. An alternative to the Unicorn fantasy.

But such a strategy seems counterintuitive.

At a time when everybody wants to Uber-this and Uber-that.

Even when it all comes Uber-ing down.

 

_

Originally published on LinkedIn,  by Praveen Suthrum, President & Co-Founder, NextServices. 

Image: Photo by Ashley Bean on Unsplash

21 Jun 2017

Global convergence in the future of healthcare. Are you ready?

 

This wasn’t the usual South African clinic.

We were inside a high security prison for illegal immigrants. On the outskirts of Johannesburg.

Stroking his beard the doctor told me, “Some of them get arrested for a free ride home. First, the authorities bring them here for a few days. Then they drop them at the border. Our clinic has to make sure they don’t get sick.”

Then he began sounding so much like doctors in America.

“We must digitize. But it mustn’t slow us down.”

“Patients don’t listen to instructions.”

“Nothing integrates here. We need our systems talking to this, this and this.”

Global like your local Starbucks

Healthcare issues are so local that we fail to realize how global we’ve actually become.

South America. Africa. Asia. Middle-East. Whichever part of the world you look. Healthcare is looking more similar than dissimilar.

With increased sanitation, communicable diseases like malaria are on the decline. With increased prosperity, non-communicable diseases like diabetes are on the rise.

In a city like Mumbai or Johannesburg, you’ll find that both disease conditions co-exist often within walking distance.

4 pillars of healthcare delivery

Observe these four essential pillars of healthcare. These are applicable wherever healthcare is delivered. Notice the convergence.

Disease: Types of diseases are more common (e.g. hypertension). Reasons of disease are also more common (e.g. stress). Country after country, disease burden is on the rise.
Diagnosis. Our approach to arrive at a diagnosis is getting similar (e.g. via lab tests, examinations and consultations).
Cure. Therapies are common (e.g. procedures are similar, guidelines are more common).
Pay. Sometimes it’s the government or the individual that pays. But today it’s more likely that you have an insurance company covering you.

You will notice that everyone is moving in the same direction. Everywhere.

Future of healthcare needs a global mindset

Extrapolate these trends of disease and healthcare delivery. What do you think is going to happen in the future? Yes, a lot more convergence.

You could delve into a specific area such as in Health IT. You will hear the same language. Technology standards. Interoperability issues. Burdensome complexity.

Healthcare administrators fret about the same issues from Manama to Miami. Productivity of doctors and staff. Expensive technology. Lack of available skills.

In global healthcare, the good and bad news is the same: Whether we sink or sail, everyone is in this together.

So where do you begin?

Today’s business environment is unpredictable. Technological changes are wiping out old business models faster.

A global mindset reduces risk for business. Particularly in healthcare because things are changing quickly.

But where do you begin?

1) Think differently about talent

Start by exploring new-age outsourcing tools like Fiverr or Freelancer or Upwork. From drawings of the anatomy to voice-overs, we’ve used these tools to reach global talent. It’s made our work richer.

A friend from a Fortune X company recently hired material science engineers in East Europe. These engineers reinvented a core product design for the company without really knowing who they were working for.

As head of R&D, my friend told his bosses only after he completed the pilot. It cost the company 1/20th the expense and brought about a shift in mindset.

Salim Ismael writes about this evolving exponential organizational mindset.

Today’s companies are built for a linear world – closed and topdown. They evolved more than a hundred years ago.

That world doesn’t exist anymore. Changes are exponential today.

2) Build partnerships with your global colleagues

Do this little experiment.

Go to LinkedIn and search for what you do in a completely different geography. Search for an industry-specific health IT standard like “HL7”. You’ll find people in UK, Australia, Egypt and elsewhere.

Reach out and build partnerships. You will find a need in the most unexpected places.

U.S. certifications are sought after in emerging markets. Like JCAHO, operated by Joint Commission, a non-profit body based in Chicago.

Brazil introduced ICD-10 in 1996. China in 2002. South Africa in 2005. U.S. shifted from ICD-9 to ICD-10 much later in 2015.

_

Healthcare is changing.

To think differently, look beyond what you can see.

And ask this question: what’s not so different here?

Get healthcare insights more directly at redo/healthcare.

_

Originally published on LinkedIn,  by Praveen Suthrum, President & Co-Founder, NextServices. 

Image: Facebook Connections by Michael Coghlan/Flickr

17 Jun 2017

4 steps to find your footprint in healthcare

 

Creating a business is fun. It’s also tedious.

It’s the tedious parts that are difficult. Because it takes patience to figure things out.

Building a product is fun. But when it doesn’t sell, do you add more features? Or, learn how to sell?

Like creating products, hiring is fun. When you are on the choosing end. But developing someone who’s not yet ready – that takes effort.

When new clients sign up, it’s fun. But when they complain about your support or when quality wobbles – that’s tedious.

It’s easy to gravitate towards the next shiny thing. And the next after that. But the magic lies in figuring the tedious things out.

To market and sell. To build stable operations. To develop people. To be responsive to clients. To manage cashflow. These take time and discipline.

How we found our focus in healthcare

There are more than 120 medical specialties and subspecialties in medicine. Each is an industry in its own right. But we found our center in the gut!

My company started by providing billing services. It so happened that one of our first clients was a gastroenterology practice.

We loved the David and Goliath fight with insurance reimbursements. In doing so, we learnt the business problems that GI doctors face.

When our clients struggled with old EHRs, we knew we could do something about it. With a lot of effort and of course money, we built our own cloud-based EHR called enki.

We didn’t stop there. We kept learning and digging the well of gastroenterology.

We noticed that clients had to deal with the complexity of compliance. We figured that out. Helped them win audits and incentive dollars.

We saw that our doctors lived with old endoscopy software. Expensive. Requiring frequent upgrades.

That prompted us to build endoscopy report writer software. We used our knowledge of building cloud-based products and compliance. Applied that to the endoscopy market.

Our clients continue to have many needs. Our company simply needs to make sure we meet those needs by being on top of the game.

That becomes our focus.

4 steps to find your healthcare footprint

If you are starting or growing your business in healthcare, find your footprint using these four steps. Here’s the Healthcare Footprint Finder.

Step 1: Find your market within the industry

Healthcare is too big. You need to find a market within the industry. Something with gaps and frustrations but also expanding. A specialty that’s branching into subspecialties.

Before you start developing anything, be clear (by testing) that someone is willing to pay you for it. How does it ultimately benefit a doctor or a patient?

(I’m not a fan of the user-volume game that certain startups play. It burns a lot of other people’s money. Doesn’t guarantee a method for profitability.)

Step 2: Find a footprint within your market

Once you know there’s a market need, find your footprint. If you can serve ONE client well enough for them to say, “We love what you do for us!” then you are in business. You can do this many times over.

If you can’t find even one to say so and pay you, then something is wrong.

Step 3: Learn how to sell your footprint

Several entrepreneurs abandon this step because it’s too difficult. Or they throw money on the problem by hiring more salespeople or paying for clicks.

Marketing forces you to deeply probe and ask yourself whom you wish to serve. Why? How? What differentiates you? How could you be better? What should you be doing to offer maximum value to your footprint?

Step 4: Look around your own footprint

Once you have a footprint and know how to sell, look around your footprint. What do your clients do before and after they use your product or service? How could you make their life better?

That becomes your next product or service. That’s how you grow.

_

Get healthcare insights more directly at redo/healthcare.

_

Originally published on LinkedIn,  by Praveen Suthrum, President & Co-Founder, NextServices. 

Image: Christopher Sardegna/Unsplash

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