Infiltrating the healthcare market is a daunting task even for experienced medical device suppliers. So what information do medical device distributors need to identify their top hospital prospects? Here are a few of our tips for sales representatives to keep in mind:
1. Analyze hospital affiliations and M&A activity
Do you know who to target with your sales pitch?
With more than 1.6 million physicians & allied health professionals at over 250,000 facilities, it can be difficult for suppliers to identify ideal targets. Continuing industry consolidation, mergers and acquisitions, and labor disputes can further complicate the sales process by shifting hospital management and ownership. Staying updated on the complex relationships between facilities, physicians, ACOs, GPOs, and other organizations within the healthcare supply chain is vital to remaining one step ahead of your competitors.
In the last 12 months alone, Definitive Healthcare tracked more than 1,500 announcements of affiliations, partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions across the healthcare industry. These new relationships affect all aspects of facility operations -- particularly purchasing. Shifting management roles can complicate suppliers' notions of which decision-makers to start sales conversations with. Mergers and acquisitions also affect EHR interoperability and care coordination, opening the door for technology vendors and staffing firms to target new prospects.
2. Leverage data from the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System
Are you creating prospect-specific campaigns?
The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) was implemented this year by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and will provide annual payment updates to physicians beginning in 2019. MIPS is an aggregate program combining Physician Quality Reporting (PQRS), Value-Based Payments (VBP), and Meaningful Use with the goal of improving care quality, patient safety, provider efficiency, and ensure privacy and security of patient data. Meaningful Use in particular encourages care facilities to effectively utilize electronic health record (EHR) systems to collect and share patient data confidentially in an effort to increase care coordination.
Suppliers can analyze PQRS performance under MIPS, which assesses the quality of care provided by physicians in a given facility, and discover weaknesses at individual hospitals. VBP metrics are also relevant to sales representatives. Vendors can identify where hospital costs are abnormally high and cater to those specific needs, as well as understand net patient revenue and supply chain spending to find the facilities most willing to invest in new solutions.
3. Examine clinical & quality metrics
How can you help your prospects reach their goals?
Clinical and quality metrics are the key to understanding where hospitals struggle most -- giving suppliers an opportunity to offer solutions. Quality metrics like readmission rates, patient satisfaction (HCAHPS) scores, and hospital-acquired infection rates are particularly relevant to medical device vendors. Suppliers can look at the root causes of high readmissions rates or infections and address them with new tools and processes that are most likely to improve care quality and reduce the likelihood of 30-day readmissions.
Diagnosis and procedure volumes are another effective way for vendors to target hospitals with surgical supplies and specialty items. Stent suppliers could find hospitals performing the highest number of angioplasties, or the hospitals diagnosing the greatest number of heart attacks, as these facilities are more likely to purchase large quantities of stents.
To learn more about the most effective methods for selling to hospitals, register for our upcoming webinar, How to Sell to Hospitals, on Thursday, Nov 15. We will be analyzing current trends in the healthcare market and how your business can adapt to fit providers' shifting needs. Some topics of focus include: hospital relationships with IDNs & GPOs, the influence of quality metrics on purchasing, and tips on how to craft compelling messages for targets.
Can't make the live webinar? Register anyway and we'll send you the recording!