Here to Stay

By Laura Thill

Shifts in payment plans are not a passing fad, note experts. Now is the time for sales reps to position their product portfolios.

JHC-May16-iStock_000089451583_LargeIf sales reps had any doubts about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ bundled payment program moving forward, they should rest assured, it’s here to stay, according to Andrew E. Van Ostrand, vice president, Care Continuum/Extended Care, Medtronic. Particularly as CMS’s focus shifts to a home health environment, the emerging payment models will continue to impact the post-acute care market. “Now is the time to know and understand the new payment models – what the differentiators are and how these new models will impact customers,” he says.

“Up to this point, the focus has been on individual markets,” Van Ostrand continues. But, that’s quickly changing to a focus on a continuum of care. As such, “distributor sales reps should think about their portfolios: What government protocols are being put into place, and how will they impact their portfolio? [Furthermore], what are the quality and financial incentives for hospitals and post-acute-care providers moving forward?”

As payment barriers are broken down, and providers share bundled payment, sales reps will need to consider how this will impact the products they offer, as well as how they market these products to their customers. “As CMS continues to identify ways to bundle money (e.g., around joint care, etc.), sales reps will need to ask themselves, ‘What products can we offer to help our customers take advantage of new payment incentives?’” That’s not to say providers won’t need the same products they have in the past. But, sales reps must now bundle their products differently, he adds.

Van Ostrand predicts that market changes such as bundled payment will lead providers to look to a small group of focused suppliers who can meet their needs. The shift from volume-based payment to value-based payment is making it more important than ever before for sales reps to focus on consultative – rather than transactional – selling, he points out. To do so, distributors will need to align themselves with their manufacturer partners, who can help them position their portfolios appropriately, he adds.

“2016 will represent some big market shifts,” he says. “If you’ve been tuning out the noise, you can no longer do so.”

safe online pharmacy for viagra cheap kamagra oral jelly online