LMI takes top-down approach to marketing

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - Provider Lou Rocco knows that programs that can help control health care costs are a big part of the future.

So the CEO of Landauer Metropolitan Inc. (LMI) created a new marketing department--separate from its existing sales and marketing team--to target managed care payers and, ultimately, ACOs. 

"Going forward, it's going to account for a large part of our business," said Rocco. "We needed to have a champ really driving these programs."

While managed care payers have already tried to control patient costs, hospitals have not. That's about to change. Beginning Oct. 1, 2012, hospitals with high rates of avoidable readmissions could see their Medicare payments reduced.

While that creates opportunity for HME providers, it also means they need to market themselves differently, and to different decision makers. Instead of discharge planners and case managers, LMI is targeting hospital CEOs and CFOs.

"It's a different sell," said Rocco. "We want to impart what we can do for them. If that patient comes back, it affects their reimbursement and their bottom line."

It's definitely a different audience--and message, agrees Jack Evans.

"With the discharge planner or case manager all you have to do is say you can provide the product and provide great service and deliver it when you're supposed to," said Evans, president of Malibu, Calif.-based Global Media Marketing. "With an ACO, you have to be able to document that you are working with the patient that you are keeping that patient healthier."

LMI has worked to do just that. For the past year, the provider has had two disease management pilot programs in place with several managed care payers to demonstrate the cost savings LMI can provide.

"Once we have the validated studies, from a third party, that will be our ticket into some of these other major managed care payers," said Rocco. "We have invested heavily over the years in these programs and finally someone is listening."