Network Volatility & the Advantage of Frequent Data – Part I: Dental
We are often asked what makes Strenuus the industry leader in provider network data and competitive analytics in the dental managed care industry. Our team is composed of provider data experts with decades of experience in the industry and expertise in managing the complexities of provider-based data sets. Our ActiveMatch® intelligent matching algorithm considers all available data in an iterative matching process to deliver industry-leading accuracy. We understand that because provider networks are constantly changing, frequent updates are critical to our clients so that they can make intelligent, data-driven decisions based on the most current competitive data.
So, when we say Strenuus’ Network360™ platform is the enterprise-grade solution, we mean that we offer more accurate data and analysis, more often, for you and your team. Strenuus has been the industry leader in managing provider data for over 15 years, and with this experience comes the ability to deliver national dental network data refreshes four times a year.
When I mention this differentiator to our customers, I usually get a split reaction. Roughly half of the people I speak with understand the value of frequently updated data. They see the benefit of staying ahead of what others in the industry are doing and keeping a more accurate eye on the competitive landscape. The other half will usually tell me that one or two updates per year are fine, as there just is not that much change over the course of six to twelve months.
Examples of Network Volatility
Where one lands on this spectrum depends on perspective. Consider this analysis of network volatility for 24 dental networks in California. You’ll notice that the most volatile network (F.1) is thirty-seven times more volatile than the most static network (B.1), with an average monthly volatility of 12 percent. While this is an extreme example, there are other networks in the same market that also changed by a significantly larger margin than the average network. So, while there is some truth to the notion that many dental provider networks are relatively static over a six to twelve-month period, many are not. The error introduced into any network analysis involving volatile networks increases dramatically as the data ages.
Note also that even the median network in this example has a monthly volatility of slightly less than 2%. That translates to semi-annual turnover of nearly one-eighth, or 12%, of the network, which significantly damages the value and credibility of any resulting network analysis in the period prior to the data update.
You are already aware that evidence of aggressive network development by your competitors is valuable information, but so is the timing of that evidence. If it takes six months or a year for the data to catch up to reality, you’ve already missed out on the ability to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace.
Volatility Over Time
Consider these two maps.
- The first, Added Providers – First Three Months, shows the frequency of network changes for the analyzed network over the first three months of a six-month period.
- The second, Added Providers – Second Three Months, shows the changes over the last three months.
If this network data were updated near the beginning of the six-month period, with semi-annual updates, evidence of aggressive network development by this competitor would not be available until at least three months after it was completed. Quarterly updates would have provided that evidence much sooner. Furthermore, because the six-month volatility is averaged over a longer period, semi-annual updates would not even offer evidence of the timing of the network development after the fact. The bottom line is this: dental provider networks change over time. In order to maximize the value of network analysis, we believe that the availability of more frequent data updates is vital.
If you are not currently receiving quarterly updates, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a more detailed analysis of your networks and how quarterly updates can help you stay up to date and ahead of the curve.
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