Case Studies

Service Line Optimization Success


Community Medical Center

The Hill Group's Role

  • Strategy Formulation
  • Process Improvement
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Data Analysis
  • Market Research


  • Identified potential cost savings to turn a $400,000 deficit into a $400,000 surplus.
  • Defined strategy for realization of identified cost savings and empowered those responsible for implementation
  • Progressed a culture of ownership among service line leadership and physicians in evaluating strategic decisions to advance the center

The Hill Group uncovers $800,000, in cost savings in three months.

The senior leadership of a community medical center engaged The Hill Group, Inc. to conduct a three-month service line optimization study. This initiative identified more than $800,000 in short-term margin growth opportunities within three of the center’s surgical service lines – Cardiothoracic, General Surgery, and Orthopedics.

These opportunities for margin enhancement were identified through:

  • Mapping core processes and materials flow related to each service line and analyzing the variability in materials and equipment usage
  • Assessing the length of stay distribution and associated transfer patterns for key procedures to determine opportunities in reducing transfer adjustments and extended stays, while increasing the quality and satisfaction of the patient.
  • Understanding the needs of primary care physicians and surgeons within the system to: (1) validate quantitative findings and (2) Identify additional areas for efficiency between the hospital and their practices that would result in greater volume and improved community heath.
  • Completion of a market analysis within the system’s primary, secondary and tertiary markets for key procedures to understand the degree of market penetration and develop a strategy that focuses marketing resources in the areas that are likely to achieve the greatest response.

A task force composed of administrative and clinical leadership was formed for each of the service lines, and a series of three line-specific meetings were held. The objectives of these meetings were to:

1. Identify opportunities for margin enhancement,
2. Analyze the magnitude of these opportunities, and
3. Quantify the potential impact of implementing short-term strategies to influence
organizational change.

Detailed analysis of financial, operational, and market data was provided to task force members with recommendations on areas of focus and potential margin growth opportunities.
Given these estimations, successful implementation of the opportunities identified has the potential impact of moving the surgical service lines from a deficit of $420,000 to a surplus of $400,000.

To help ensure effective implementation, the process taken by The Hill Group in engaging key stakeholders also lays the groundwork for continued identification of margin enhancement opportunities by service line leadership. This empowerment not only increases the probability of successful implementation of these initiatives but helps to drive strategic decisions that promote future growth and sustainability.

The Hill Group understands the complexities in balancing benefits to patient and payer while ensuring regulatory compliance. Our approach to service line optimization not only looks for areas where costs can be reduced but models the impact of this reduction to illustrate its effect on total value. We also identify areas where additional value may be realized by shi