Investor Relations Contact:
Kevin Karas, Chief Financial Officer at 402.475.2525 or click here for more information.
TO OUR SHAREHOLDERS:
As I look back over the last year, I sense the industry we serve is changing far more rapidly than over the last ten years and for different underlying reasons than what has been the case in the past. Drivers of change seem less connected to Modern Healthcare headlines and more tied to fundamental consumer behavior.
Packaged in a variety of forms, the industry’s most consuming headline today is reimbursement changes. Interestingly, scanning the decades, one notes numerous reimbursement events and, while each such event shifted focus and risk, none have changed the industry from a customer-facing perspective, yet this is the change we are witnessing today. The leaders in the industry look and feel very different to their customers.
We likely have reached the point where no change in policy, regulation or reimbursement—individually or even collectively—will account for the power of change driven by the consumer. For organizations that embrace this change, a world of opportunity is opened. For all others, it will be a Kodak moment.
Here are a couple very simple and tangible examples of how leaders in the industry are satisfying consumer needs and how this, in turn, has opened opportunities for your Company.
Just think, ten years ago, the national standard for measuring and reporting of the patient experience was being created leading to the first public report of patients’ experiences in acute care hospitals. These standardized measures have since enabled a number of important initiatives and powers of a variety of value-based purchasing arrangements. For those purposes, success should be celebrated. However, for the information being readily accessible, only 5% of households access Hospital Compare—the official online reporting site for HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems). And, as far as improving the experience, “Would you recommend the hospital?” affirmative responses have increased by only four percentage points since inception of the measure.
To become more customer driven, the most advanced heathcareorganizations have shifted focus to simply checking the “HCAHPS box” and redirecting 90% of their current patient experience measurement spend to enterprise-wide feedback platforms. Relevant, accessible and timely feedback is what meets consumers’ needs and allows brand building in a digital world. It should be comforting to know your Company’s Connect platform is leading this transformation.
Talk about a changing world, ten years ago, National Research Corporation published online patient satisfaction results for most all physicians in Cleveland, Ohio, and Portland, Oregon. The pushback by the medical community was nothing short of a firestorm. While likely kindling for yet another firestorm as recently as last year, today leading healthcare organizations are embracing and driving business via online physician ratings. I am happy to say the firestorm of a decade ago was only a delay. Today, your Company is far and away the leader in online reputation management. As an interesting aside, our client in Cleveland represents the largest group of physicians in the nation providing consumers information when and where they demand.
These two examples, among the many, are all about leaders in healthcare adopting methods from which others have built entire businesses. Case in point: Trip Advisor blended the right information at the right time in the right form and changed how travel choices are made and how brands are built. Travel-related businesses that embrace customer feedback, both positive and negative, and respond with strategies to leverage, have well outpaced the naysayers. With that I leave you with this year’s video http://www.nationalresearch.com/ReputationVideo.
All the best,
Michael D. Hays,
Chief Executive Officer and Fellow Shareholder