Hello Vendor. Meet your new Customer
In last week’s blog, “Moving up the Healthcare Value Ladder,” we talked about how important it is for vendors to move away from a price-based mindset, and instead begin aligning with provider goals of improved patient outcomes. To ascend to the top of the value ladder, vendors must be able to answer the question, “How does this product/service affect patient flow and outcomes?” A bigger challenge for vendors may be determining who is asking the question. In many cases, it’s someone they’ve never had to deal with before.
The new outcome-based value model in healthcare is bringing new players to the vendor-buyer discussion. Procurement remains integral to the purchase process; however, they are now often joined by other staff members more closely tied to the delivery of care. Moving forward, clinical, financial, and outcomes-focused people will all have a seat at the table. The better vendors understand how to talk to these different groups, the faster they will move up the value ladder.
For vendors to be successful in this new and expanding healthcare supply chain, they need to recognize that each member of the buyer audience has different interests, different needs and different pain points. Vendors must understand what is important to each member at the buyer table, from clinicians to supply chain managers and finance representatives.
Here are five things vendors must do to succeed in this environment:
- Understand how their product/service improves metrics related to an outcome-based reimbursement model, such as readmission rates, HCAP scores, or chronic disease management.
- Be able to readily communicate this value/benefit to a clinical decision maker, a financial decision maker, a procurement decision maker, and a decision maker focused on case management.
- Identify these new players in the sales cycle and understand how and when to communicate to them.
- Train your organization in this new “normal.” This includes management, sales, and customer service.
- Where possible, adjust your business model to align with providers’ new goals and incentive structures.