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Additional Profiles and Implications!

In my last note, I discussed the value and need to profile your current patient demographics and then use them to project changes in the future.

            We have discussed the need to understand how the patients pay, since this is changing and more and more of the cost is being placed on the patients themselves and less is coming from insurance and employers. There is no question that this trend will continue, unless the Federal and State governments establish a single payer system, but even then there will be a number of people who elect to pay when needed.

            Second, we discussed the patients’ health condition. Obviously this is highly relevant to any healthcare practice and organization. The poorer the health the more complex and costly it is to treat the patients. This too can easily change since health is dependent on the geographic area and the patient’s desire and willingness to take care of them and avoid serious illnesses if they can.

            Age was the next demographic. America is aging and people are living longer and simultaneously the current generation, christened the title “millenniums” are marrying later in life and having children later (if they marry or have children at all). Thus the population is getting older and this is increasing the need to focus on the elderly who require more care than those who are young.

            Profiling. So I have recommended that you create profiles of each demographic and see how your practice or targeted market is changing. These profiles all impact the cash flows of the organization and must be assessed to determine how they are changing.

            Next I would like to recommend that you plot the gender, nationality and race of the patient groups.

            Gender has normally been simple to describe. Traditionally there were male and female categories. Some practices have concentrated on one gender or the other. Gynecologists concentrated on women and even segmented it based on age. Urologists have focused on men. But things are changing in how you categorize gender. There is an increasing acceptance of other categories and each present different healthcare issues. There appears to be an increasing number of individuals who wish to change their gender and this has become a new market segment for some practices. The gay and lesbian communities are becoming more open and accepted by society and impacts the type of healthcare required.

            Race, nationality and religion are also becoming increasingly important to the healthcare providers. Each of these groups have unique characteristics and view healthcare in different ways. Some races are more prone to certain types of diseases and must be treated differently. The current surge in migration from the middle east also impacts the type of treatment that is acceptable to them and this even more prevalent among religions and even different groups with a religion.

            The result of these demographic changes is that traditional healthcare may not be accepted and different types of care such as acupuncture and oriental medicine are being required and these compete against the traditional approaches and practices. All these changes are a result of our changing population and mix and must be considered in evaluating the current and future attractiveness of practice or organization. There is no question they will impact how cash flow is generated and whether it will continue to be positive.

            After these evaluations and forecasts are done they should be plotted on profile sheets and then assessed as to their impact. This is an example.

Your Patient Profiles

How they pay

PERCENTAGE                5  10  15  20  25  30   35  40  50  60  70  80  90  100

OWN FUNDS                                     X————>

PRIVATE INSURANCE                 <——X

COMPANY INSURANCE                               <——–X

MEDICARE                       <————X


Current Health Condition

PERCENTAGE              5    10 15   20   25   30   35   40   50   60   70   80   90 100 

VERY GOOD                                 X

GOOD/AVERAGE                                                      X

BELOW AVERAGE                             X

POOR                                    X


PERCENTAGE                5   10 15   20   25    30    35    40    50    60   70 80 90 100


YOUNG ADULTS                               X

MATURE                                                                             X

SENIORS                                         X


PERCENTAGE                 5   10 15   20   25   30    35    40    50   60   70 80  90 100

MALE                                                                      X

FEMALE                                                                                              X



PERCENTAGE                5   10  15   20   25  30   35   40   50   60   70   80  90  100

EUROPEAN                                                            X    

SPANISH                                         X————->   

MIDDLE EAST              

FAR EAST                                               X————>           


PERCENTAGE              5   10    15   20   25   30   35   40   50   60   70   80    90   100

CAUCASIAN                                                    X                                    

AFRICAN AMERICAN                                                X                                          

ORIENTAL                                      X———->



PERCENTAGE                5   10     15   20  25  30    35    40   50   60  70   80   90     100

CHRISTIAN                                                                   X                  

JEWISH                                                              X

MOSLEM                X                

HINDU                           X            


NONE                               X


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Categories: Business Strategy

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