Spotting Opportunities in Healthcare Legislation

Is your business positioned to take advantage of the newly defined healthcare industry?

“When there is change, there is opportunity” was the overall message at the most recent KNOWLEDGE IS POWER workshop sponsored by BBVA Compass and the Small Business Resource Network (SBRN). And there is plenty of change coming down the way when it comes to healthcare.

Some changes are certain, others are not, but one thing is clear, relating the new healthcare legislation to your small business can be done—when you learn how to craft your own strategy to understand the new flow of money that is happening within healthcare.

“Healthcare is vast,” says keynote speaker Brian Klepper, PhD, principal in Health 2.0 Advisors and Healthcare Performance Inc. “It accounts for $2.6 trillion, one-sixth of all dollars in the economy and one-eleventh of jobs.”

So what type of things can succeed in such a vast area? According to Klepper, “anybody who can lower costs and risks while improving quality doing any one of a thousand things in healthcare” can succeed. In other words, to be successful, your venture must prove it can create new value or produce transactional streamline and reduce complexity risk and/or cost while improving quality/safety.

Where are the opportunities?

According to Klepper, the largest area for opportunities is in medical management He equates medical management to that of air traffic control, where it is a process that looks at the universe of processes that is going on in the system and says, “What can I do to make this more efficient and have better outcomes.”

The next area for opportunity is in scientific and medical advances, such as minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgeries. These types of surgeries are an opportunity because they offer a quicker return to work, smaller incisions, less pain, and lower costs. This area also includes all types of new devices and procedures.

“Anything that moves us from a client server to the Web reduces the transaction cost to one-fifth,” says Klepper, which is why this, also referred to transactional streamlining, is another area of opportunity.

The last area of opportunity is in consumerism—getting consumers engaged in prevention and wellness.

Creating growth

Marsha Proctor Killen Esq., CEO of Strategy Gen ( and second keynote speaker, believes that customers are the key to success to creating profitable and sustainable growth. “All successful strategies that are sustainable start with a customer focus and product focus,” says Killen.

Just who is impacted by Healthcare reform?

• All of us—patients, consumers, caregivers;

• Employers small and large;

• Hospitals, doctors, and clinicians;

• Health insurers; and

• Government, federal and state agencies.

Killen used the employer segment and a wellness program to provide an example as to how a small employer is impacted by healthcare reform, and then explained what the difference is in a product offer and a product-focused product offer.

 “As a small employer, you are going to have different requirements of what a wellness program may be than a large employer,” says Killen. “So always keep that in mind and why it is so important to understand your customer to be able to create sustainable profit program.”

7 “must haves”

Killen states that these are the seven most critical “must haves” for creating profitable and sustainable growth strategies. You must:

1. Have a market strategy. You need to have a strategy that extends beyond launching a new product, tweaking an existing product, or promoting your product.

2. Understand your emerging customer needs. You must know what your customers are going to need and understand how those needs are going to be under different healthcare reform scenarios.

3. Design to the needs. You need to design specific products and services based on who your targeted customers are.

4. Look at competitive pricing. Realize and know that the lowest price is not always the winner. Customers look at the most value for their dollars.

5. Have a communication strategy. Have a communication strategy and let customers and potential customers know you are out there. You will have to think about how to get them to the environments that you normally don’t participate in.

6. Create customer focused sales plans. Consider changing your sales model and go to customers in new and different ways. “Be sure you know how your customers want to buy your product and not just how you want to sell your product and services to your customer,” says Killen.

7. Identify your product. Identify what it is you are giving your customers because it is a customer experience once they purchase your products.

“The bottom line is you need to be able to define to these new customers of yours why your product or service? What’s the benefit to them? What problem does it solve?  Why are you different? Why your company? and What makes you better than your competitors?”

“Don’t assume healthcare is easy. Leverage your expertise and prove the concept,” says Klepper. “These kind of innovative things, things that can make us all work better—that is where the opportunity is.”

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