The Qessential Blog

Healthcare's "Changing of the Guard"

by Jordan Fein

With the United States in the midst of sweeping healthcare reform, those of us who serve the medical device and biopharmaceutical industries are witnessing a change in the purchase model of hospitals and other healthcare providers.  The majority of our research has historically revolved around physicians, as they typically exerted the most influence over purchases.  Affinity towards specific products, reps and companies dominated their decisions, with little emphasis put on price.  However, with a shift toward a value-based reimbursement system, a focus on economics is becoming paramount, and administrators, also known as economic customers, have become the center of attention.  Our clients have been forced to rethink strategies and have become increasingly interested in these economic customers.


Given these changes, it does not surprise me that economic customers are becoming a highly sought after population in the medical market research world.  Qessential Medical has amassed comprehensive lists of hospital administrators, CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, IDN executives, and purchasing executives, allowing us to conduct high quality quantitative and qualitative research among this increasingly influential group of decision makers.


In fact, we captured the perspectives of more than 500 economic customers, ranging from service line administrators to CEOs, at hospitals big and small, to get their opinions on the direction of healthcare given new legislation.  With one in five (21%) respondents working at a facility that is already part of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and even more (31%) likely to become part of one in the next 12 months, ACOs are clearly becoming ubiquitous.  With the goal of ACOs to provide high quality patient care while spending healthcare dollars more wisely, understanding the purchase drivers of these organizations and the decision makers within will be vital to the future success of medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers.


While the changes we are witnessing in healthcare may elicit anxiety and concern in the medical device and pharmaceutical sphere, those of us in the business of answering the essential questions of these companies are enlivened.  New questions breed new opportunity to find answers.   Personally, I am excited to partner with my esteemed clients as they navigate these uncharted waters.


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