Optimizing Preferred Provider Network Partnerships


Preferred provider networks can be a mutually beneficial for acute and post-acute providers, but establishing partnerships is only the first step. Think of partnership as a verb; partners must continually recommit to active collaboration in order to be effective. This page consists of the three key steps to successfully practicing partnership as a preferred provider network.

Post-Acute Pathways Explorer

01. Improve in-network utilization

They key to deriving value from a post-acute network is the ability to drive in-network utilization. Generally, networks fail not because of a lack of investment in partnership initiatives, but because they do not drive enough volumes to their in-network providers. If few patients receive care from preferred providers, the network’s investments in care improvement are wasted. As such, systems must identify opportunities to increase the proportion of patients who choose in-network providers.

For post-acute providers:

For both hospitals and post-acute providers:


02. Effectively run network meetings

Regularly held meetings between hospital and preferred provider network participants are critical to developing and acting on network performance improvement goals. However, these meetings often focus on the wrong things, resulting in frustration and slow progress against goals. See our resource below to learn how to optimize your preferred provider network meetings.

  • Research briefing: View Effectively Using Preferred Provider Network Meetings to learn the basics of holding network meetings and see guidance for avoiding common missteps. This resource features templates for data sharing and a network newsletter, along with step-by-step guidance for two interactive activities.

03. Establish shared goals

Networks are often formed with the purpose of improving key metrics under accountable care, like lowering length of stay and reducing readmissions. These goals must be agreed upon by members of the network, so all parties are engaged in achieving them. See the below resources for considerations on setting shared network goals.

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