The Myths of Hospital Market Share

by Tim Hanners - 09/29/14

In my career as a hospital marketer, I disliked using the infamous state market share data to measure performance—but never had anything better to use. So like many of my colleagues, I acquiesced and used the data and thought, “Well, it’s better than nothing.” But no more!


When Market Share Is Meaningless

If someone insists you take that approach, keep in mind there are three important questions you can’t answer with market share data:

  1. Will this year's volume match last year? (For example, there were 200 total cases last year in our market. Are there going to be 200 total cases this year?)
  2. How many are leaving the market altogether (aka: outmigration)?
  3. How many cases were performed in the brand new physician-owned surgicenter?

The point here is not to find another way to answer these questions because in reality you really can’t find any trusted available data. Instead, we must take a different approach and look at how much opportunity is out there and how much we need to make the business case. 

The New View of Market Share

This requires marketers to seek answers to two different questions:

  1. What’s the opportunity among prospects who might not want to have a procedure simply because they don’t know enough about it?
  2. What type of insurance will those patients have this year?

The bottom line: Predictive modeling is used to help answer those questions and then find the best prospects for service lines, regardless of how much market share was captured two years ago in whatever location.

Discover how data insights and analytics can clarify your market opportunities. Contact Tim at 423.490.9962 or

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