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3 Important Lessons From Amazon’s Healthcare Disruptor, Haven

The Amazon – Berkshire – J.P. Morgan healthcare platform that launched last year finally has a name: Haven. Along with the announcement of the name, CEO Atul Gawande detailed the company’s vision and mission statements.

With a name like “Haven,” you probably think it’s safe to assume the company is wholly consumer-focused — and you’re right, their mission is just that. Haven is setting out to address the frustrating issues with quality, service and high costs faced by the organization’s member healthcare companies and employees.

Rather than focusing on what this platform means in terms of competition, here are a few lessons you need to learn from this major healthcare disruptor:

Stop offering profit-making incentives

While you may not be able to reinvest all of your surplus back into healthcare efforts, like Haven has, it’s important to focus sales efforts on improving overall healthcare — not the resulting profits.

Some physicians and lawmakers view gifts from medical sales reps as incentives that interrupt the effective care of patients. Rather than spending time making new incentives, sit down with customers and speak to their human side. Discuss real-life scenarios impacting their decisions and find solutions to not just make a sale, but improve their healthcare initiatives.

Be a patient advocate

Advocating for patients doesn’t mean just selling their healthcare providers quality products. Medical sales reps need to become a patient ally and advocate regarding negotiating costs, pushing back on insurance companies, and more.

Go to your research team to gain data and insights on what your target patients need.

“What data do we have, what insights can we glean from that data around cost and quality of care, so that we can help them make that available as we think about helping patients choose doctors that are going to help them get better outcomes on the quality side at the best price,” Haven COO Jack Stoddard said in a testimony early this year.

In addition to gleaning metrics from your own company, look to other healthcare companies, in general. Gather new insights by asking to sit in as doctors meet with patients who are using or considering your product. Learn first-hand how your product is being discussed, so you can continue to put patients first.

Find simple solutions

“The good news is the best results are not the most complicated or expensive,” Haven CEO Atul Gawande said in his interview with MedCity News.

When physicians are able to meet with more than 70 percent of the sales reps who attempt to reach them, they are considered “rep-accessible” according to a 2017 report from global sales and marketing firm ZS. ZS found number of “rep-accessible” physicians declined from 80 percent in 2008 to just 46 percent in 2016.

As customers become less accessible for in-person meetings, medical sales reps must find new ways to connect. The solution doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Find new and simple ways to reach out. Let them know you understand they’re busy, but your product will benefit them and their patients.

It’s critical you remember your value to the end-user and consistently show your potential clients their patients are people first, not numbers on your sales goals. Find solutions that make connections and build relationships that don’t just close sales but positively impact lives.