Many of today’s purchasing decisions are made by a Hospital’s Value Analysis Committee (VAC). Their role is to reduce hospital product, service, and technology costs while maintaining quality.
Value analysis is a process where clinicians evaluate products and services to drive down costs. A number of large hospitals now have VACs in each department or hospital specialty area. While some hospitals will approve products pending a trial period, others will recommend a product for purchase only after the trial results have been evaluated by the hospital’s VAC committee.
Most VACs use a value-based purchasing approach. This approach examines clinical benefit, impact on quality improvement, and patient outcome and cost effectiveness. It is believed that purchasers buying on quality, service, and cost will move toward a more value-driven system.
What can suppliers and medical manufacturers do?
- Prepare a value proposition
Develop a value proposition for your product based on the hospital’s needs. Make sure you understand the purchase process of the specific hospital, the hospital’s purchasing strategy, and their ultimate goals. These goals may include cost containment, improving patient quality, lessening hospital length of stay, and reducing readmissions.
- Provide clinician champions with presentation-
Since clinicians are the ones making the presentations to the VAC, they may not be prepared for the scrutiny they will receive. Many clinicians are not comfortable in this role. Medical companies should arm the physicians with the information they need to make the value-based pitch.
- Be patient and follow up often
A complete value and financial assessment takes time. Often, new products and technologies must be submitted to the VAC four to six weeks in advance of the presentation to allow for a thorough financial assessment. Follow up with the clinician champion on a regular basis to keep apprised of the purchase decision status.