Closing Hospitals Sales in the Value-Based Care Era





The hospital delivery model has changed. With the implementation of alternative payment models as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are being forced into an insurance model. And with the shift to the insurance model, staffing firm sales teams have been forced to adjust.

Why do we call it an insurance model? Well, hospitals are being forced to convert Medicare patients into Accountable Care Organizations and bundled payment programs. Much like Medicare Advantage plans and HMOs of old, in these models, the payer, which is now the hospital in many cases, receives a flat amount (per diem) at the beginning of each month to pay for each member’s care. After paying for necessary care, whatever cash is left at the end of the month is called profit. In short, cost is everything in the insurance model; it is the dominant driver in purchasing decisions.

Enter the staffing industry sales team, which now must approach hospitals in a different way. Has your sales team adjusted? Here is a series of questions to help you answer that:

  • Have you identified who makes the buying decisions now?
  • Does your prior contact now have to seek approvals before purchasing?
  • Do you know there spending limits?
  • Do you know the clients fiscal year end date?
  • Do you know when pay day is for employees and how that impacts cash flow and spending approvals?
  • Who is your internal champion? How many physician allies do they have?
  • How much clout does your champion have in the board room?
  • Who are the two most influential executives at the board table beyond the CEO?
  • Are you wasting your time targeting the CEO & CFO?
  • Is the hospital a for-profit, academic or not-for profit hospital?
  • Do you know the decision sequence based on hospital type? Which is more of a priority?
    • Price
    • Quality
    • Operational flow
    • Service & responsiveness
  • Do you know the not-for-profit secret?
  • Have you seen the hospitals required community needs assessment?
  • Is peer-to-peer selling necessary when targeting nurses or doctors at this hospital? If so, do you have nurses or doctors on your team? Have you considered some creative ways to add a nurse or doctor to your team and stay under budget?

When the insurance model came to the fore, staffing providers that were traditionally higher quality and price-point vendors were finding themselves left out of sales they had routinely closed simply because they did not offer the lowest price. After multiple requests from solution providers for guidance on how to move the conversation past price, the not-for-profit National Readmission Prevention Collaborative created The Selling to Hospital online Masterclass.

Last week’s SIA Healthcare Staffing Summit in Las Vegas featured my “Selling to Hospitals” preview session. Attendees of the event, and now Staffing Stream readers, can complete the masterclass at a discounted rate of $299 by entering code SELL$100 when registering online by Dec. 10.

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