Vantage Point: The Affordable Care Act

Richard Vanderveer
Richard Vanderveer

By letting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stand, the Supreme Court has issued, albeit unknowingly, an important mandate for healthcare marketing researchers (MR).

Survey research about the ACA has focused primarily on whether various stakeholders (e.g., physicians, consumers) “support” the Act. Given that many call the ACA “ObamaCare,” and that most stakeholders have little or no knowledge of the Act's 1,500 pages of specifics or their implications, there is little wonder that most such surveys show a 50/50 split between supporters and non-supporters, largely along party lines.

But that is yesterday's news.  As we move forward, the ACA has given us more important and actionable work to do. Our new challenges include:

• At the macro level, understanding the workings and impact of new organizational entities. Few healthcare marketers or marketing researchers can speak with any authority on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), or the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). In the future, individual physician decision making processes will be blunted by ACOs establishing treatment protocols for their member practitioners, and by the USPSTF determining what preventive measures will be covered.

• At a more micro level, getting full value from (de-identified) data contained in electronic patient records.  Being able to view, cost effectively, the mosaic of care for individual patients will provide important insights.

In brief, the Affordable Care Act will fundamentally change marketing research forever, and a significant first mover-advantage awaits those quickest to convert this challenge into opportunity.

Richard Vanderveer is chief solutions officer, rbV3.
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Features

Email Newsletters


What does going "beyond the pill" actually mean? At MM&M's recent inaugural spring conference, audience members heard from real-world companies that are managing the organizational, technological, and promotional challenges inherent in this transition, such as partnering with health neophytes, harnessing technologies that allow deeper engagement with patients, and adopting a new commercial mindset to serve, not sell. Download here.


A wave of more effective anti-cancer drugs has set the oncology world on fire with enthusiasm. While many hail this as a new era, an equally vocal faction questions the money spent for the value gained. This medical and commercial trend report for marketers of anti-cancer modalities touches on many of the latest shifts that have expedited product launches and otherwise impacted promotion and reimbursement of these drugs. Click here.