What if someone wanted to close your hospital?

Right now, it's just a handful of New York state hospitals that are facing the threat of mandatory closure by state authorities. The threat, in other words, is still not not a practical issue for most FierceHealthcare readers. But how should you respond if your state (or the federal government) ever decides to take this approach?

There are a few ways you can influence decisions regulators make, and counter adverse decisions later, suggests columnist Antony Cirillo, a marketing consultant. First, make sure you're collaborating with area facilities, rather than contributing to overbedding and overbuilding by solving problems separately. Establish a government relations program, so that if you're under fire, you'll already have strong relationships in place. Find out who your grassroots supporters and community influences are--including board members, foundation donors, Rotarians or even vendors--and make sure you cultivate them. And don't forget to use public relations tools, especially powerful new interactive media, to get your story across.

Get the details on Cirillo's recommendations:
- read this column on HealthLeadersMedia.com