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Updated July 2019
Suppliers understand that the U.S. healthcare market is a maze of affiliations, network hierarchies, and regulations that can be difficult to navigate. This unique industry is full of opportunities, with hospital and other facility leaders seeking the best methods for improving patient care outcomes and reducing total costs.
One of the primary reasons selling into the healthcare space is so alluring is that it can be extremely lucrative for successful distributors. Healthcare spending hit $3.65 trillion in 2018 and is only expected to rise as the general population ages and personalized healthcare becomes mainstream practice.
In addition to big spending, healthcare delivery is constantly evolving through value-based performance programs from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and evolutions in technology and pharmaceuticals – including medical devices. Below, we’ve compiled our best tips for selling medical devices to hospitals.
The most effective way to sell into any industry is to demonstrate the value of your product to a prospect. If you cannot clearly outline how your device will help a network or care facility meet its goals or improve in specific performance areas, your point of contact is not likely to understand the full impact of your device. You may also be able to point out applications and impacts of using a device that your prospects would not think of, increasing the value of your product.
For example, if you’re selling a drug-eluting stent with a higher success rate than existing options, that would obviously improve care outcomes for angioplasty patients. However, it could also reduce 30-day readmissions and prevent secondary diagnoses and other complications like restenosis. By detailing the many ways in which your device can improve performance and reduce costs, you can increase your likelihood to close a deal.
In order to properly demonstrate the value of your product and gain the trust of your point of contact, you must do your homework. Understanding the pain points of a particular hospital or care facility gives you a window of opportunity to show that you are knowledgeable on their unique circumstance and have catered a solution just for them.
Some of the most vital insights to know when selling to hospitals are diagnosis volumes, procedure volumes, and quality measure performance. If a hospital’s complication rates for a total knee replacement are above the state or national average, for example, the facility could face financial penalties from CMS. A supplier offering a prosthesis with unique joint cushioning that improves the longevity of an implant could reduce long-term care costs and decrease the risk of complications and secondary surgical procedures, preventing revenue loss and CMS penalties. Explaining all of this to a prospect verifies that you understand your product, the facility’s unique needs, and the healthcare industry, making you a trustworthy source.
Once you understand the pain points of an individual facility, it’s easy to figure out what success looks like for the physicians and hospital leaders. Some facilities may struggle with readmissions, while others report high rates of hospital-acquired infections. The most common quality programs hospitals focus on include HCAHPS patient satisfaction scores, value-based purchasing, and hospital-acquired conditions.
You may also benefit from offering comparisons of your target facility to other, comparable hospitals. The most effective metrics to focus on here would be average costs per procedure and other financial metrics.
The healthcare industry is always shifting, and it is vital to educate yourself on the latest mergers and acquisitions, technological advancements, advanced treatment options, new market entrants, healthcare legislation, and other trends that impact your prospects. Though it can be overwhelming, this information is vital to understand what providers want and need to stay competitive in the market. Mergers and acquisitions are especially important to track so you know which parties hold decision-making and purchasing power.
Are you curious about how you can leverage all of this essential data? Definitive Healthcare’s comprehensive platform allows you to access and analyze intelligence on hospitals and other care providers across the U.S. Using Definitive Healthcare as your source of market insights, you can: