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The biggest trend in healthcare going into 2019 is the rise of value-based healthcare. No longer is the healthcare industry focused on simply a fee for a service, but now on delivering outcomes. Healthcare providers are now being paid by helping people stay healthy and preventing the need for more expensive treatments—a proactive approach instead of a reactive one. Healthcare providers are even being reimbursed for offering this kind of care, meaning that they get paid on this ability to prevent more expensive treatments.
Ideally, this approach will lead to fewer major treatments or surgeries, and healthcare won’t be as much of a burden for the patient as a result. Medtronic, as an example, found a 27% decline in the rate of preventable hospital admissions for their insulin pump users. This was in large part because of their partnership with UnitedHealthcare that allowed UnitedHealthcare members with diabetes access to advanced technologies and improved support services. This is coupled with UnitedHealthcare's payments totaling $65 billion for prevented hospital visits in value-based healthcare arrangements.
What this means for healthcare professionals is clear—with the incentives lined up towards value-based care, delivering on it will be increasingly important. But what does it mean for sellers and marketers, and how can they capitalize on this critical shift in the healthcare industry?
B2B Medical Device Sellers Will Need to Hone in on Value and Base Actions in Data
The sales message for B2B medical device sellers needs to radically shift to accommodate for this industry change. Instead of pitching devices as the last line of defense, sellers need to understand the value of their products as preventative measures for patients. So, the sales pitch becomes much more focused on how a specific medical device will improve outcomes for patients, more so than on how well it will sell.
In order to prove the new marketing materials being created for value-based healthcare are effective, they need the ability to access data and see how their buyers are actually engaging with their new messaging. With this being a new field and a new set of benefits being positioned to the buyer, data becomes even more critical to create strong content strategies. A recent Dun & Bradstreet study found that 89% of sales and marketing professionals believe data quality drives sales and marketing, so building up a strong database of what content works early on in the shift to value-based marketing is critical.
Marketing Will Need to Put the Customer or Patient Experience First
The new value-based focus means that the most important factor for healthcare providers is going to be patient experience. Marketers now must shift the focus of their materials to hone in on what will provide the greatest patient experience. This is going to mean different things for different patients, so the key is going to be bespoke, personalized marketing content based on a variety of outcomes and goals for each individual patient. A recent survey found that 25% of patients do not have a strong sense that their provider cares about them on an individual level. So, a compelling case to providers would surround the multitude of ways that your product can make care as personalized as possible. It’s on the medical device seller to inform the provider how the device is going to create a personalized solution and personalized care, and the marketer must build that compelling message specific to each provider’s patient base. Given that this is how healthcare providers will be considering your product, marketing your product to as many specific outcomes as possible will better enable your message.
How to Manage This New Content
This shift is going to lead to a major influx of new marketing content based around the specific tenets of value-based healthcare. The emergence of all this new content comes with information for marketing and sales alike. Sellers are going to need to know how to understand all this content, and marketers are going to need to have insight into what content is the most effective.
Whatever the focus of medical device selling organizations, they need to be prepared to manage all this content and figure out what works best. The priority is going to be finding a solution that is focused on seamless content management, strong baked-in analytics, and easy use for sellers and marketers alike. Whatever the solution, it is critical to have your organization in a place ready to create, organize, and best utilize all this new content. Then, the new model of healthcare will be an incredible business opportunity for the organizations ready to take advantage.