Hobart Group Holdings

Hobart Group Holdings seems to have placed its bet on the right horse. While all of the industry’s trends of the moment flowed and eddied outside, the agency kept its focus on managed markets work and has lately enjoyed the benefits of a marketplace that is catching on to what its leaders figured out long ago. And apparently folks elsewhere are picking up on the agency’s little managed markets secret; in March 2014 Hobart was acquired by Precision for Medicine, a specialized services company supporting next-generation approaches to drug development and commercialization.

“We are delighted to join Precision for Medicine and know there is a unique opportunity to create a valuable integrated service offering that addresses the critical issues related to value and access for medical products,” says Dan Renick, president of Hobart and newly named co-president of Precision. “Demonstrating value is increasingly complex as required metrics shift from large populations to individual patients, and payers work to address the needs of consumers, health insurance exchanges, integrated delivery systems, and accountable care entities. Bridging the value gap that often exists between the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry and its customers requires next generation approaches to scientific evidence, analytics, and communications. Precision is ideally positioned to help clients address these issues, creating a positive impact for healthcare consumers everywhere.”

In 2013 Hobart grew by 28%, driven by organic growth and 16 new business wins, earning more than $30 million in revenue while managing business for 12 of the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies. And Renick wasn’t the only employee to change job titles; to help manage the agency’s growth, Hobart added 34 employees across all offices and promoted several executives, including agency leads Carlos Delucca (The Hobart Group), Kelly Wilder (Hobart Forte/Hobart Core), and Larry Blandford (Hobart Innovations), who were each elevated to managing partner.  

While the agency has stuck ferociously to its founding idea of managed markets work, within that scope its leaders continue to encourage innovation. “Hobart’s growth comes from the understanding that if you don’t innovate, you become irrelevant, especially in a rapidly evolving market where provider systems and patients increasingly share healthcare risk and decision making,” says Sue Patton, VP, client service. “As a result, the company has consistently developed new and unique client offerings, hired new talent, opened new offices, and forged new partnerships. The foundation for this success is a company culture and set of guiding principles that start with the commitment to deliver quality, creativity, and innovation.”

Two major areas of focus for Hobart going forward are building on initial pricing and market access work outside the United States, which was initiated in 2013, and expanding on current strategic payer marketing to include greater scientific and technical capabilities in the areas of evidence generation and advanced analytics. Both the geographic and capabilities expansion, Patton believes, reflect the realities of a global, data-driven market-access environment along with frequent client requests to broaden the existing strong partnerships the agency values.

“As the landscape of those taking on risk for managing patient populations changes, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies must also evolve how they engage customers and demonstrate value,” Patton says. “Marketers must invest in the development of a value proposition and customize how they apply it for specific payer types.”