1. Leadership Structure: Take note of the Healthcare Systems organizational chart. You should make it a point to know (from an information standpoint) who is at the C-Suite Level (CEO/COO/CMO/
2. Board Composition:
3. Hospital Strategic Initiatives (Current State – Future State): Want to know how the hospital is going to spend its money in 3-5 years? Understand their strategic initiatives. The Strategic Plan is a visual roadmap for future purchase initiatives that are key to their success. The direction and vision that the CEO articulates, coupled with the Hospitals Mission Statement, in many cases can help you align your products and services to help the hospital address both short term and long term needs. Example: When the hospital CEO announces in the press or in their annual report that his/her goal is to make Health System X the premier cardiac care center in the region over the next 3-5 years…you don’t have to guess where capital and disposable dollars are going to be spent during that period of time. If you sell products and services that impact that service line…this account should move up on your target list.
4. Financial Health: Is your customer operating in the black or in the red? What Service Lines and Departments generate the most (positive or negative) revenue at the institution?
5. Signature Approval Levels: Who can release the funds differs by role and responsibility. Each department manager, director, vice president and C-Suite executive has a signature approval level. If the purchase exceeds the hospital CEOs level then it must go to someone in the corporate office (if a For-Profit hospital) or the Governing Board if it is a Not-For-Profit hospital. Savvy sellers know the approval levels, the approval process, the decision making process and the final yes.
6. Payor Mix - The reimbursement rates are different for CMS (Medicare & Medicare) and commercial payors (United, Blue Cross, Aetna, etc). This information is important in order for the Health System to determine projected revenue based on the reimbursement rates from various payors. Today their projected revenue is a fee-for-service model which is based on volume and the reimbursement rates for the procedures performed. So imagine if your selling orthopedic implants in a retirement area/city in Florida…your hospitals dominate payor for those procedures is probably Medicare. Will you be paid on a fee-for-service model or as the future portends a more holistic approach that measures a patients overall health, wellness and quality of care received? Given all that is happening with Healthcare reform…you should be able to predict (pro or con) what could happen to your business.
In next week’s blog we will discuss the importance of understanding the hospitals capital budget cycle, decision making process and committees, their fiscal year end, type of hospital and the role of GPOs, IDNS and RPCs.
Authors: Thomas J. Williams & Glen Hall
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