May
15
2017

Why Most Private Provider Behavioral Health Organizations (PPBHO) Fail 2: Don’t Network!

This is the second article in the series, Why Most Private Provider Behavioral Health Organizations (PPBHO) Fail. Although this series is dedicated as a resource for PPBHO to promote success in a changing and challenging industry, many of the principles can be applied to any business, organization or individual. I encourage you to assess your organization honestly, complete the action items after each topic. So let’s get started with the second reason PPBHO fail. They don’t network.

Networking is a key element in any business. It provides an opportunity to meet and develop relationships with people who may add value, exchange ideas, become your champion or buy your product. This is networking at its finest, developing relationships with the hope of exchanging or purchasing goods and/or services. Most PPBHO don’t network because it takes time away from the clinic, they can’t bill for it, they don’t know where to start or don’t see the value in networking beyond their peers in the behavioral health industry.

Networking with decision making stakeholders, behavioral health advocates, legislators, colleges, community groups, private corporations, healthcare providers, and federal partners create a diverse resource pool which establishes a variety of growth opportunities for all parties involved. PPBHO must change their view about networking and get some “skin in the game”. Networking takes skill, time and must be done effectively. Networking is not about your sales and marketing pitch or the “what’s in it for me approach (i.e. funding, referrals, etc.)” it is about offering, providing and building a win-win relationship. Many PPBHOs are often looking at what they can get instead of thinking about how they can offer assistance/support/guidance.

Margo Geller, LCSW discusses this concept in her book, The Love Club: A New Approach to Business Networking. Geller states, when connecting, don’t be overly focused on your pitch, but on making a connection. Remember, networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships and truly understanding how you can help people [regardless of the industry]. As Margo says, “Potential Ideal Clients and Referral Sources don’t feel the love through a sales pitch.”

It is only through these types of relationships, partnerships and collaborations will PPBHO survive ongoing state and federal changes, Managed Care, the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obama Care) or understanding the Patient-Centered Medical Home model, which is already underway. As healthcare continues to evolve, PPBHO that survive are going to be the ones who make a committed effort to network and develop sustainable relationships which in turn leads to sustainable programs, referrals and income. ACTION ITEMS: Will my program survive pending state and federal changes? Do I need to increase the diversity of my business circle? Make a list of people/organizations/industries to connect. Make a commitment to develop and implement a networking plan and watch your PPBHO skyrocket to the next level.

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