It seems impossible to read the news these days without coming across discussion about whether President-elect Donald Trump and Congressional leaders will take action to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when the new administration takes office in 2017. With so much uncertainty in the regulatory space right now, it’s easy to understand why many healthcare organizations are concerned about the impact that these potential changes could make on the industry over the next four years.

Given how much has been invested in ACA implementation over the last several years, it is unlikely that any healthcare organization will be immune from negative impacts if even portions of the law are repealed. However, life sciences companies may have it better than others when it comes to maintaining current operations while the future of Obamacare is up in the air. Why? Because for life sciences companies that are launching products or devices in the next 12 to 24 months, the actions that are needed for a successful go-to-market and implementation will not change – regardless of what happens to the ACA.

  • Differentiate your product through enhanced patient services. Health plans and providers are focusing more on the patient as a way to improve outcomes and reduce costs, and they expect the same from the life sciences companies that they work with. Companies that offer high quality products paired with patient-centered education and communication will see benefits associated with the positive experiences had by providers and patients.
  • Onboard new patients efficiently and effectively. Connect with patients frequently by leveraging multiple communication channels, including phone, text, video and email. Successful onboarding also requires close patient follow-up, which can be done efficiently by ensuring your sales team has the right tools for prioritizing patients during the implementation process.
  • Ensure that the right data is available to the right people, in real time. Data plays a valuable role when onboarding patients to new products and devices. Help ensure that care teams have the information they need by providing them with key data points in real time throughout the onboarding process.

While it is true that the ACA was intended to encourage more activities such as patient-provider communication, easier access to physicians and office visits, and patient-centered medical homes, those in the life sciences industry know that these are also foundational elements to launching products that truly make a positive impact on those that use them. Sometimes regulatory support is helpful, but policy is only one lever when it comes to taking action to implementing patient-centered care. Partnering with companies that can support a product launch through customized patient engagement tools, education materials, and other services can be just as effective at getting the attention of payers and providers looking for products that support patient-centered care as policy requirements.