Planning for Uncertainty

by Todd McDonald on August 22, 2013

The Affordable Care Act, Health Care Reform, “Obamacare” …no matter what you call it, the fact is in less than six weeks, state run health insurance marketplaces across the country will launch.

Speculation on what this will mean for the insurance market is rampant.

A recent QMed article, “Insurance Exchanges a Mixed Bag for Medical Device Manufacturers,“ reports that “an estimated 30 million people are expected to enter the insurance market through these exchanges.”

But this begs questions like: Will the disadvantaged and uninsured be sufficiently encouraged by available subsidies and marketing efforts to sign up for coverage? Will there be enough education to these populations about the enrollment process to foster participation? Will small businesses take advantage of tax credits to help obtain coverage for their employees, or will most choose to pay the penalty instead?

The questions about the future with ACA in place seem endless – and the medical device manufacturing community is no exception.

Not only must they plan for an uncertain future when it comes to the size of the insured patient population, they must also factor in implications surrounding the much-debated 2.3% medical device tax as well as the potential for negative effects of increased competition on their reimbursement rates into their business planning.

The only thing that is certain, is that the future isn’t – and consequently finding ways to improve efficiency and control costs has never been more important for the medical device manufacturing industry.

At TEQ, when working with MDM’s to control expenses and increase efficiencies, this can mean implementing a variety of strategies, including:

  • Re-examining workflow processes
  • Developing and implementing innovative supply chain solutions
  • Helping companies “onshore” manufacturing operations to the U.S.
  • Managing on-location modular clean room solutions
  • Providing value engineering
  • Strategically identifying and managing partners for execution of key steps
  • Even developing a stock size tray program to help our medical customers better match tray sizes with products, without a great deal of additional cost

What about you? What are some of the ways your business is preparing for the unpredictability that comes along with the implementation of the first phases of health reform?

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