As vascular procedures move out of hospitals, devicemakers must adjust

More and more peripheral vascular and vascular access procedures are being conducted at outpatient clinics instead of hospitals, and the shift will force devicemakers to rethink their marketing, Millennium Research Group reports.

The firm polled physicians who perform the procedures in outpatient facilities about their decision criteria, finding that individual doctors lack the same brand loyalty hospitals tend to have. The main motivator, unsurprisingly, is cost, and physicians said they're primarily concerned with favorable reimbursement when picking vascular stents, catheters and balloons. Device companies that offer attractive pricing will have a leg up, according to Millennium.

However, the dispersed nature of outpatient clinics will present challenges for devicemakers used to dealing with hospital groups. Over the past decade, specialized vascular centers have multiplied and have varied specialties, making it difficult for device firms to reach them. To best target private physicians, device companies will need to understand their decision making processes and specialties, Millennium's Stephanie LaBelle said in a release.

"There is a lot of variation between which procedures different centers and practices will be focusing on in the near future," LaBelle said. "Some are looking to increase their volume of lucrative vein treatments such as varicose vein ablation and sclerotherapy, while others will be specializing in peripheral artery disease, and expanding their atherectomy procedure volumes. Manufacturers need to make sure they have the most updated information on this rapidly changing market."

- read Millennium's release
- check out the report