Elective Procedures Post-COVID; Helping Hospitals Drive Efficiency

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COVID-19 paused elective surgical procedures across the country, with some reopening happening only within the past couple of weeks.  While this created short-term pain for health system profitability and device manufacturers, BCE clients are asking how this may drive opportunity in the back half of 2020.  Many are being proactive in figuring out how to deliver value in new and different ways going forward.  Here are a few things to be thinking about:

  • DO YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMER? 

Having a deep understanding of both the surgeon and economic customer is more important than ever.  You need to know when to engage, how to articulate your value as a trusted partner able to support in context of their specific needs today, and how to balance different internal viewpoints.

  • HOW DOES SITE OF CARE IMPACT THE OPPORTUNITY?  OR THREAT? 

Health systems will be asking how they can maximize volume of profitable procedures, so as an example, having tailored solutions for the ASC or OBL will matter.  Understanding and supporting efficient care pathways will be valuable as will support in managing regional payer dynamics and novel payment structures.  Similarly, if your competitors are able to more clearly deliver value across these categories, you may be on the outside looking in at key relationships going forward. 

  • WHAT ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT OR SOLUTION HELPS DRIVE EFFICIENCY, VOLUME OF PROCEDURES, AND/OR OVERALL HOSPITAL PROFITABILITY? 

The fundamental question being asked here is whether your product (implant, surgical tool, etc.) is simply a product or do you have some way to enable the customer against its efficiency and profitability goals?  We’ve seen everything considered here from consultative services, operational and workflow offerings, AI and machine learning pre-operative planning, and supply chain programs all tailored to making lives easier for the customer.  If you can’t do these things in house today, what partnership or acquisition opportunities exist to facilitate success?

  • IS THIS A TIME TO EXPERIMENT WITH VIRTUAL PROCTORING AND/OR REP-LESS MODELS? 

Companies are getting more comfortable with remote work by the day and some of these learnings can translate to the surgical environment.  BCE has been evaluating unique business models and pricing schemes surrounding alternative rep approaches and enablement services for how to best facilitate productive conversation between reps and customers.

  • WHY SHOULD YOU DELIVER THIS VALUE AND HOW WILL YOU DIFFERENTIATE FROM COMPETITION? 

Let’s say there is a need for better workflow planning and operational improvement across your customers.  The critical next question is “Why is a medical device company the right partner to solve this challenge?”  Hospitals will need solutions here, but having a clear understanding of your limitations will be critical.  There may be opportunities to advise, to recommend partners, or to implement yourself.  A strong long-term relationship is built on trust and this is a great way to reinforce that dynamic.

Each of these are important to understand as device companies plan for the second half of the year.  Similarly, health systems need to be considering the full range of options at their disposal from how to prioritize procedures and patients to understanding which industry partners they should be working most closely with.  On either side of the ledger, those who take a well organized, forward looking view will come out the other side in a position of strength.

Authors

Richard Crumb

Managing Partner, Menlo Park

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