Rising healthcare costs and the dramatic growth of older, sicker patients has forced the conventional healthcare model to shift. Insurers and healthcare organizations are continually looking for ways to improve patient care while minimizing overall costs. The traditional fee-for-service model has been primarily focused on volume of care versus quality of care. This outdated model provides compensation based on treatment volume (rather than results), but the market is shifting toward quality of care in the form of improved patient satisfaction and outcomes as the way health systems are compensated. Additionally, this model doesn’t necessarily ensure the patient receives the care they need, nor does it assure patients improve following treatment. Medicare, Medicaid, and even private payers are beginning to shift toward focusing on quality over volume. This model—the value-based model—includes compensating hospitals and healthcare providers based on improved patient outcomes and satisfaction.
Value-Based Care: What Role Does it Play in the Medical Device Industry?
Value-based care, in comparison to the fee-for-service model, has been gaining traction in the healthcare industry. This model of care is primarily aimed at improving care quality and cost efficiency. Public and private payers are beginning to adopt value-based payment models to shift accountability to healthcare providers while enhancing the quality of care they offer patients. The value-based approach is focused on patient outcomes, rewarding doctors, hospitals, and care centers based on performance and patient success. With value-based payment, more responsibility and risk is placed on the healthcare provider’s shoulders, and medical device companies are having to modify their business approach in order to comply with these newer practices.
Medical device companies are quickly evolving their approach to potential customers and are also modifying their products to fit in with the value-based care system. Manufacturers of medical devices are improving their technology to better engage and interact with patients and healthcare providers, offering a higher level of patient-physician interaction that may potentially elevate clinical performance and care value. Cloud-based tools, for example, have been increasingly utilized with medical devices to streamline workflow. Some newer technology offered by medical device companies also allow physicians real-time access to information and remote monitoring, thereby assisting in extending the degree of care that can be provided to patients.
Quality care is further improved when patients feel as though they are active participants in the care process. The importance of patient interaction via medical devices may also help improve patient success. Digital tools that enable patients to connect with care teams, gain insight into their condition, and assist in preparing them for their care journey can help them feel more involved. This, in turn, provides patients with a psychological incentive that may play a role in improved clinical outcomes. Also, medical devices that engage patients outside of the clinical care setting can be important for improving care quality when direct face-to-face physician interaction is impossible.
How to Market Medical Devices with Value-Based Care in Mind
Medical device companies are beginning to reposition their marketing tactics in an effort to position themselves at the forefront of value-based care. Companies that produce medical devices that help providers fulfill governmental and insurer value-based contracts are an attractive option, and many marketing programs in the medical device industry are geared toward establishing their product as a prime instrument that can help healthcare providers achieve this goal. Essentially, medical device companies wanting to appeal to healthcare customers involved in value-based care require a marketing approach that will effectively communicate the importance of value-based care and how improved patient outcomes can be established with their device.
Marketing a medical device with the value-based care angle relies on clearly demonstrating data that signifies its main clinical benefits. Devices that fail to display this data in a clear and coherent fashion may quickly experience limited sales by healthcare institutions geared toward improving patient value. A marketing plan integrating data from clinical trials for claim substantiation, for example, may be a helpful method for confirming a value proposition for potential customers.
When marketing any product, it’s imperative that the key messages of the marketing strategy are focused on the benefits of that product. Marketing a medical device for the value-based care audience should contain messaging geared toward both the clinician as well as the patient. The economic benefit of the device may be a key point to include in marketing materials focused toward healthcare providers. Effective medical devices may help improve patient outcomes, for example, thereby reducing overall costs that may be spent on administrating lengthier interventions. Patients, on the other hand, really want to know how the device can benefit their condition as well as save them money on their healthcare costs.
In addition to providing much-needed clinical evidence for device functionality and benefit, device manufacturers need to show payers and institutions that their clinically-proven device can help improve the quality of care while reducing the cost of care.
Use an Experienced Agency to Communicate a Value-Based Focus
An effective marketing program focused on value-based care needs to speak to the different decision makers within a healthcare organization. Thus, the information provided in the overall messaging must be relevant to each key target, display compelling reasons to engage in a conversation, and have a unique offering that assists in enhancing patient care while reducing the cost of care. ParkerWhite is a brand communications agency committed to positioning medical device companies as leaders in value-based care to improve brand visibility and engagement.
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