Success in marketing and sales is built on addressing the needs of customers, and there’s no exception for businesses that specialize in pharmaceuticals or medical devices. Life sciences organizations must frame marketing efforts according to the challenges doctors and other healthcare professionals face on a daily basis, targeting communications accordingly. A powerful medical email marketing campaign starts with looking at things through a physician’s perspective.
With access to current data and advanced tools, life sciences organizations gain an advantage in developing effective messaging and ensuring it gets out to the right people. An appealing email geared toward the specific problems today’s doctors must solve can be a vital first step in building a productive relationship. Life sciences leaders should always consider the challenges facing today’s doctors when formulating and deploying a marketing and sales strategy:
Full implementation of value-based care
“Hospitals have been taking gradual steps toward a value-based care model for years.”
Hospitals have been taking gradual steps toward replacing the traditional fee-for-service approach with a value-based care model for years. Now, however, systems that strive to encourage best practices while maximizing value are an everyday reality for many physicians. The new status quo is having a far-reaching impact that affects treatment decisions, reimbursement for insurance providers and payments to doctors.
One of the most pressing concerns for medical professionals is the full implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. The provisions of this law include a Quality Payment Program that will alter how Medicare pays out and, as Medical Economics pointed out, provide a model for other insurers. Under the law, doctors or their facilities will choose from one of two reimbursement paths:
- The Merit-based Incentive Payment System is based in performance calculations for clinical quality, advancing care information and clinical improvement activities.
- Alternative Payment Models are focused on rewarding high-quality and cost-effective care.
Hospitals and clinics will need to carefully consider how best to address the requirements of their reimbursement path. As part of that strategy, doctors will look for ways to engage patients in their own treatment and other means of improving processes in their facilities. It’s vital for healthcare professionals to standardize practices, eliminate any unnecessary procedures and consistently deliver better outcomes.
Complexity in medical coding and billing
The complicated healthcare revenue cycle is an ongoing struggle for many professionals in the field. Working with insurance companies and patients to bring in payments is an often uphill battle that involves expert personnel and specialized software programs. Despite all the efforts that go into handling these issues, an Advisory Board study estimated that the average 350-bed hospital misses out on $22 million per year due to issues like claim denials from commercial payers and patients failing to meet their financial obligations.
One major wrinkle in attempts to improve revenue capture is the room for errors in medical coding. Already an involved practice, coding took on new layers of complexity when the U.S. adopted the tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. The version of ICD-10 provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Center for Health Statistics vastly increased the number of diagnostic codes.
The costs and administrative workload involved in maintaining the revenue cycle today are among the reasons many doctors are leaving private practice to work for hospitals. Even still, the complications involved in properly billing and collecting payment can be an ongoing source of strain for physicians.
Embracing new technologies
Providing great medical services calls for keeping up with the latest advancements in treatment. However, healthcare professionals can be slow to adopt new technology since devices may come with risks to the well-being or privacy of patients. PwC suggested that some of the revolutionary technologies that have already made a huge splash in other industries, such as artificial intelligence, will be making their presence felt in hospitals.
Medical professionals will be exploring how they can most effectively incorporate a wide range of new devices and take advantage of newly available data. New infrastructure and analytics insights may point the way for making value-based care initiatives more effective. Modernized payment systems will make it simple for healthcare organizations to collect on bills and insulate themselves against cybersecurity threats.
Healthcare in the U.S. is going through a time of great change, bringing many challenges for doctors and other key stakeholders. Life sciences organizations have opportunities to connect physicians with products that can help them and their patients. The key is to cater to their specific needs and direct communications based on robust, current information, including email addresses, institutional affiliations, professional specialties and treatment insights.