Managed care is the process of delivering health services based on agreements made between an insurance company and a network of healthcare providers. Under this agreement, insured patients receive care at a lower cost than they would if they were treated by a provider outside of this network.
This type of care has become extremely popular in the US market, particularly in the context of employer-sponsored plans. As of 2017, more than 70 million Americans rely on this type of coverage for at least some of their healthcare needs.
This high market penetration signals the need for healthcare providers to satisfy the demands of managed care providers in order to receive payment for their services. This has significant implications for how account managers should approach sales proposals when managed care plans are a factor in their clients’ decision-making processes.
How Managed Care Changes Sales Dynamics
In addition to a thorough understanding of the pharmaceutical market in general, a specialized approach is required when working with accounts that depend on managed care billing. These accounts have unique concerns that influence their purchasing decisions. If they purchase a drug that is not adopted by many managed care plans, they risk being unable to generate a profit from that purchase.
Which types of drugs are favored by managed care plans? Budget is often a major factor in this decision. Managed care plans emphasize affordability and must stretch a relatively small pool of funds to cover all the drugs and treatments they will offer.
Managed care insurers are also much more likely to be interested in drugs that can be prescribed to a wider patient base. Niche solutions are rarely appealing to this type of payer. On the other hand, drugs that can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions may be more attractive.
Why Managed Care Training Matters
Developing a deeper understanding of what drives this market is critical to successfully pitching products to providers who operate within it. Account managers and pharmaceutical sales representatives must demonstrate that they are familiar with the decision-making process within managed care contexts to gain providers’ trust and match them with profitable solutions.
In recognition of this knowledge gap, healthcare management consulting firms have begun offering specialized training to help account managers adjust their approach to better suit the needs of this segment of the market. For instance, our upcoming Managed Care 101 training course offers an overview of managed care markets and the information needed to make a convincing proposal that will secure new business. Topics covered include:
- Who pays for healthcare products and services in the US market
- How pharmacy benefit management and integrated delivery networks work
- How to use evidence-based criteria and player guidelines to determine appropriate product suggestions
- How to establish a pull-through relationship with clients to promote the use of your products in the context of managed care
Perfect Your Managed Care Sales Tactics
Managed care market dynamics will only become more important in pharmaceutical sales in the coming years. Deepening your sales team’s knowledge of managed care now is key to maintaining your competitive advantage.
The Brooks Group offers a full catalog of account management training courses designed to help sales representatives hone their skills, as well as instructional design services for creating custom training content. Contact us today to sign your team members up for our Managed Care 101 training course (currently scheduled for May 30) or any of our other industry-leading courses for account management professionals.