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Healthcare Management Consulting 2018
Who Can Help with Healthcare’s Biggest Challenges?—An Executive Perspective

author - Warren Whitford
Warren Whitford
author - Lois Krotz
Lois Krotz
November 15, 2018 | Read Time: 4  minutes

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The primary goals of this perception report will be to identify management consulting firms who can help meet healthcare executives needs not only now, but in the future as well. We will highlight the breadth of their capabilities and the depth of their healthcare expertise. Additionally, we will uncover the emerging consulting needs of providers and the attributes they value in a consulting firm.

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industry insights context

CxO Perceptions of Consulting Firm Expertise

Premier, Optum, The Chartis Group Valued for Focused Expertise

who is best positioned to help with the following issues

Healthcare-specific firms are some of the most mentioned for VBC transformation. Premier is known for having the right resources, a partnering approach, and ACO experience. Executives feel Evolent Health understands healthcare’s needs and delivers good technical resources and actionable plans. Optum (including the recently acquired Advisory Board) is viewed as having the right tools and knowledgeable consultants.

For financial improvement, no healthcare-specific firms got more than two mentions, indicating that cross-industry firms are viewed as better positioned. Kaufman Hall is smaller than mindshare leaders Huron, Deloitte, and Navigant (discussed later) but stands out for experienced consultants, the ability to understand their clients, and successful custom solutions. Milliman is known for high-quality actuarial work and related services.

Smaller than cross-industry peers such as McKinsey and Deloitte, healthcare-focused The Chartis Group is known for strategy development and planning. Executives say that Chartis creates positive relationships with clients, has strong depth of knowledge, and is able to provide creative approaches that allow projects to be completed on time and on budget.

Press Ganey is the only healthcare-specific firm with top-five overall mindshare and is mentioned almost exclusively for consumer experience expertise, an area in which they have four times the mindshare of any other firm. They are seen as a good partner in providing consumer, employee, and physician analytics and reporting.

Led by Deloitte, McKinsey, and Huron, Cross-Industry Firms Top of Mind for Variety of Intensifying Challenges

overall mentions as best positionedDeloitte received the highest number of mentions overall for being best positioned to help with healthcare’s top business challenges. Reasons include Deloitte’s broad capabilities, experience with large, complex projects, and creative and collaborative problem solving. Healthcare executives cite strategy-focused firm McKinsey’s cross-industry knowledge, highly intelligent consultants, and ability to think outside the box as top reasons the firm is considered. Concerns about cost, inflexibility, and a lack of humility are mentioned. Huron and Navigant have high overall mindshare but are primarily thought of for financial improvement, an area in which executives feel they deliver good outcomes.

It is noteworthy that some other large cross-industry management consulting firms—including Accenture, KPMG, and EY—receive little mindshare from interviewed executives. Selective with their engagements and generally partnering with very large health systems that need help with enterprise-wide transformations, Accenture has lower mindshare compared to other cross-industry firms. KPMG and EY, well known for financial planning and improvement work, don’t have a significant presence in healthcare.

Do Perceptions Match Reality?

For Deloitte, Navigant, & Premier, Perceptions Largely Match Reality; For McKinsey and Huron, Not So Much

Perceptions don’t always match reality. Low-performing firms may have high mindshare, or executives may hesitate to engage a firm they view as well positioned to help. Deloitte and Navigant have broad capabilities and consistent performance, so their high mindshare largely jives with their actual performance. Additionally, Deloitte is identified as a go-to option by the highest number of respondents, who cite as strengths the firm’s relationships, consistent results, long-term perspective, and healthcare expertise. However, it should be noted that a comparative number of executives would hesitate to engage Deloitte, describing the firm as bureaucratic or saying they would have difficulty trusting the firm again. Organizations who view Navigant as their go-to firm see them as strategic, experienced, and capable of producing results on time. PwC and Kaufman Hall are other well-performing cross-industry firms, but they are thought of less by executives.

In contrast, cross-industry firms McKinsey and Huron have high mindshare but are the two lowest-performing firms in this report. The number of executives who would hesitate to use McKinsey is twice the number who identify the firm as a go-to partner. Those who are wary of McKinsey mention high costs, an arrogant attitude, and a lack of focus and healthcare experience. Huron has a large client base and high mindshare for financial work. Executives who name Huron as their go-to firm say Huron has the right resources for the projects they need completed. However, as indicated by Huron’s low overall performance score, several clients have had poor experiences; common issues include cost, low value, lacking tools and methodology, and unachieved outcomes. Other large cross-industry firms EY and Accenture also perform below average, though they have less mindshare.

Healthcare-specific firms provide a more consistent experience across clients. Premier, The Chartis Group, and ECG Management Consultants are all top-performing firms known for consistent track records, quality resources, and specific areas of expertise. Optum, including the recently acquired Advisory Board, is the one healthcare-specific firm with a higher percentage of executives reporting hesitation. Some view Advisory Board’s prices as high; others did not achieve the results or value they hoped for in previous engagements with the firm.

overall score vs overall mentions
would be hesitant to engage would choose as go to partner
author - Elizabeth Pew
Elizabeth Pew
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. © 2023 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.