NEW YORK—May 25, 2023—New research from Bain & Company, explores how the movement of procedure volumes from large, traditional acute care settings to smaller, highly fragmented ambulatory care settings is gaining momentum and impacting medtech sales models. Outpatient visits in some specialties, like orthopedics, have rapidly ramped up. For other procedures, like medical imaging and endovascular, the shift has started slowly.
While the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this growing trend, the shift has also been propelled forward by lower operating costs, favorable reimbursement changes, a streamlined patient experience, improved clinical outcomes through technological innovation, and physicians’ increasing desire for autonomy.
“Medtech companies are finding that the one-size-fits-all sales model they’ve perfected for large hospital systems is no longer fit for purpose,” said Mayuri Shah, a partner in Bain’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practice. “Ambulatory care sites require a much more nuanced and targeted approach. As a result, medtech companies will have to entirely evolve not only how, but eventually what, they sell.”
Why one-size-fits-all no longer works: Ambulatory care lends itself to a starkly different selling environment. With more than 25,000 sites in the US, the market has five times the number of call points than that of acute care. Additionally, it supports much lower procedure volumes and higher geographic distribution relative to an integrated delivery network or hospital system.
Building a flexible, fit-for-purpose model: Bain’s research shows that physicians, administrators, and other ambulatory care buyers are increasingly open to virtual engagement with sales reps. Bain’s data shows 50% of physicians now say they prefer all or mostly virtual engagement, compared with just 20% pre-pandemic; 80% of administrators say the same, up from 33% before Covid-19.
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