It’s no secret that the industry’s commercial focus has traditionally been on the physician. However, we are seeing a confluence of factors that are shifting that focus from customer centricity directed at HCP’s, to patient centricity where the focus is on the value of improving peoples’ health. Some of these factors include: the emergence of specialty therapeutics with smaller patient populations and more complex treatment plans, reimbursement changes driving the need for evidence and health outcomes, consumerism seeping into people’s expectations in healthcare, and digital technology making interactions with patients infinitely more attainable. These trends independently are not startling, but we are seeing a major implication emerging. Our research shows more than 70% of pharmaceutical companies are establishing or significantly expanding their organizational focus and patient services capabilities, which is a clear indicator that connected patient services will be a sustained focus for the industry, unlike what we have ever seen in the past.
I had an opportunity to discuss this topic during the keynote at the Eye for Pharma 11th Annual Patient Summit USA in Philadelphia. The key question from many of the 150 top pharma leaders and key stakeholders attending was “What separates the market leaders who are getting it right?”
Our research and experience found four key characteristics for patient services market leaders:
Connecting the patient experience across services, vendors and programs
Measuring patient service outcomes to show what’s being offered makes a difference
Testing & Scaling services to learn and optimize in order to apply across both product portfolio and geographies
Flexing services approach which can adapt with rapid pace of innovation in health
We also provided real-world cases of our clients who have taken on this challenge with excellent results. For example, a top five global pharmaceutical company was determined to improve the standard of care for all diabetic patients in a particular provider network by improving care coordination and providing services directly to the patient. The pharmaco collaborated with the customer to evaluate the unique patient populations across the treatment journey in order to identify the unmet needs and design the necessary interventions to optimize their care. A series of services were developed and deployed, including advanced analytics based on electronic medical records to measure the value and effectiveness of the integrated care program. Ultimately the client was able to demonstrate measurable benefits which project to have a $200M+ uplift to their business, and the provider network was able to reduce the cost of care for these patients by 10-15%. Furthermore the provider was able to leverage the approach across additional patient populations in other disease states to drive additional value for their network.
Members of the conference provided many positive remarks following the presentation, and were particularly enthusiastic to have tangible data to support and refute some of the questions they have been challenged with as they work to expand their focus on patient services. Overall, there was a tremendous amount of positive energy over the two day event, and the group seemed very encouraged with the direction and momentum the industry has to drive better connecting and impact for patients.