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Healthcare Consulting and Services 2018
Which Firms Deliver a True Partnering Experience?

author - Mike Smith
Mike Smith
author - Lois Krotz
Lois Krotz
March 1, 2018 | Read Time: 4  minutes

The need for partners is stronger now than it has ever been as healthcare organizations continue their journey to provide seamless care across the continuum, shift from fee-for-service to fee-for-value, reduce costs, and ultimately improve patient care. KLAS has published numerous reports on a wide range of consulting services, but this is the first that focuses on which firms healthcare organizations consider true partners. KLAS interviewed decision makers from 246 healthcare organizations about the consulting and services firms they have used to discover which they consider true partners and which they would avoid using again.

Nordic and Deloitte Are the Top Firms Mentioned As True Partners

In interviews for this research, which were conducted solely with organizations who had direct customer experience with the firms they were discussing, 131 firms were mentioned at least once as true partners. Of these, 12 firms bubble to the top—Nordic and Deloitte lead the way, followed closely by Impact Advisors, PwC, and Navigant. Nordic’s deep Epic expertise, strong client relationships, and emphasis on client success over selling additional services are key reasons many view Nordic as a partner. Clients who view Deloitte as a partner largely do so because of Deloitte’s expertise, problem-solving skills, thought leadership, and long-term approach to relationships. Impact Advisors and Navigant are noted for their industry expertise and client collaboration. PwC is also commended for their industry experience as well as their focus on client needs and strategic planning. While it is important to know which firms partner well, it is equally important to know the breadth and depth of the services they offer. This information is provided on the next page.

what firms do you consider a partner and why

Advisory Board Most Mentioned Firm Provider Organizations Would Not Use Again

Not only is Advisory Board mentioned the most as a firm to be avoided, but they also have more than twice as many mentions as the next firm. Most interviewed Advisory Board clients are not achieving the outcomes they expect, and they say that the firm’s resources are inexperienced in the projects for which they are contracted. Although both Deloitte and PwC are top mentioned partner firms, they are also mentioned by some as firms to avoid. Some clients report that Deloitte overpromises on their resource expertise and focuses too much on selling additional services. PwC’s impact on outcomes can be underwhelming, and their resources can be inexperienced. Huron Consulting and NTT DATA are also mentioned as firms to avoid. Some clients feel Huron misled them about the cost of their engagement, while some NTT DATA clients report services are expensive.

what firms would you not use again and why

Chartis Group, Deloitte, and PwC Have Broadest Range of Services; Impact Advisors Has Most IT Advisory Depth; Nordic Has Most Implementation Depth

Clients engaging PwC, Deloitte, and Chartis Group use their firms’ services more broadly than clients of other top partner firms, and they tend to be large organizations. Deloitte and PwC have more experience than other firms in cybersecurity advisory work and business solutions implementations (mostly ERP). Of the broad firms, Chartis Group has done the most IT advisory and implementation support work. All broad firms provide healthcare management consulting and IT advisory services. Impact Advisors has the most IT assessment and strategy work, and of all the partner firms, Nordic has the most implementation validations. Regardless of firm, most HIT implementation projects are Epic installations.

client validated services delivered by top partner firms

Value of Partnering: 84% of Organizations Plan to Use Partners for Future Projects; Accenture, Impact Advisors, and PwC Well Positioned

About 40% of respondents have used their partner firm for two or more engagements over the last three years, and 84% plan on using them again. Of the broad firms, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte are the ones most frequently considered by current clients for future engagements. Many of those considering these firms trust that they can use them for multiple projects, even when unsure of which specific services they will need. All interviewed Accenture clients plan on using their firm again, primarily for IT outsourcing or technical analytics/reporting. Of the focused firms, Impact Advisors has the highest percentage of clients planning on using them again; most plan to use the firm’s IT assessment/strategic planning and optimization services.

which partner firms are getting the most repeat business

Which Firms Are Missing from Top Partner List?

Some firms that are noticeably missing from the top partner list include Advisory Board, Huron Consulting, and Leidos Health, who all have large, well-established healthcare-consulting practices. In KLAS’ 2016 healthcare consulting report, Leidos was the third most mentioned firm for demonstrating critical consultant success attributes. While Leidos has a wide range of capabilities, much of their work is more tactical in nature, which may be why few providers consider them a partner. Advisory Board and Huron Consulting both do a lot of strategic work. Advisory Board is the only fully rated healthcare management consulting (HMC) firm that didn’t make the list, and Huron Consulting has one of the larger HMC practices in the industry. Both firms score below average within HMC.

author - Jess Wallace-Simpson
Jess Wallace-Simpson
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.