How do you effectively target your healthcare customer base?

Healthcare innovators: Want to effectively target your healthcare customer base? It all starts with one word: positioning. Understanding your target market in the complex healthcare ecosystem is crucial. It’s not just about knowing them, but truly answering the core question: What value do you provide?

Here’s why this matters:

  • The healthcare industry in the US is intricate, featuring the four P’s: payer, policymaker, provider, and patient.
  • Each stakeholder has distinct needs and values, influenced by their place in the healthcare journey.

Consider these insights:

  • Providers seek efficiency in patient care and billing processes.
  • Payers focus on understanding utilization rates and cost savings.
  • The fee-for-service model creates a tug-of-war, with providers aiming for maximum reimbursement and payers for minimal expenditure. Patients are often caught in the middle.

But here’s the kicker:

  1. Understanding the value to each stakeholder is key to crafting a compelling positioning statement.
  2. This knowledge allows you to align your product’s benefits with what your market truly values.

Whether transitioning to value-based reimbursement schemes or optimizing within fee-for-service models, knowing value to whom is your golden ticket.


Strategizing Healthcare Innovation: A Guide to Targeting the Right Healthcare Customer Base

In the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare, innovation companies are at the forefront of revolutionizing patient care, streamlining provider workflows, and optimizing payer strategies. Yet, one of the most critical challenges these companies face is effectively targeting their diverse customer base with precision and insight. Today, we’re diving deep into the realm of healthcare innovation to uncover the key strategies for reaching the right stakeholders with the right solutions.


Understanding Healthcare Positioning

It’s a foundational principle often discussed across various platforms: positioning is paramount. For healthcare innovation companies, this means gaining a thorough understanding of who your target market is. Who are the stakeholders you’re aiming to reach? This is not a one-size-fits-all approach; the healthcare ecosystem is intricate, with each player having distinct motivations and pain points.

The US healthcare system, noted for its complexity, includes the four P’s: payer, policymaker, provider, and patient. Each of these groups interacts with healthcare from a different vantage point, valuing different aspects accordingly. It’s essential to discern which of these stakeholders your technology, device, or software solution is aiming to serve. What specific value does your innovation bring to their table? Identifying this value is the first step in crafting a compelling and targeted narrative for your product.


The Dynamics of the Fee-for-Service Model

Consider the prevailing fee-for-service model, where the incentives of providers and payers often seem to be at odds. Providers are driven to perform the minimum necessary work for the maximum reimbursement, while payers aim to control costs, sometimes by limiting service utilization. This tug-of-war places the patient in a precarious position, potentially leading to minimally viable services or outright denial of necessary care.

When targeting a solution for providers, your innovation might need to focus on efficiency and effectiveness in patient care and billing processes. On the flip side, payers may be looking for tools that provide deeper insights into utilization rates and cost-saving measures. Recognizing these opposing ends of the spectrum is crucial. It informs your value proposition and ensures that you are speaking directly to the needs and desires of your specific audience.


Transitioning to Value-Based Reimbursement

As the industry shifts towards value-based reimbursement models, the criteria for what is considered ‘valuable’ also changes. Providers transitioning from fee-for-service to value-based care will prioritize different features in a technological solution than they might have previously. The same is true for payers, policymakers, and patients. Each stakeholder’s perspective on value evolves as the reimbursement landscape transforms.

Understanding these shifts is not just about creating a positioning statement or strategy; it’s about truly grasping what your target market will deem valuable. This level of comprehension allows you to tailor your messaging and product development to meet the emerging needs of your audience, making your solution not just a commodity, but a necessity in the eyes of those you serve.



Healthcare innovation companies must navigate a complex web of stakeholder interests and incentives. By focusing on positioning and value differentiation, these companies can more effectively target their customer base. Whether it’s a provider looking for efficiency, a payer seeking cost-control, or a patient in need of quality care, understanding and addressing the specific value sought by each group is the key to successful healthcare innovation.

As innovators in this space, it’s our responsibility to not only create cutting-edge solutions but also to ensure they reach the right hands and make a tangible impact where it matters most. It’s a challenge, indeed, but one that is well worth the effort for the betterment of our healthcare systems and the patients they serve.


For more content like this, check out our Insights Page and check out The Better Outcomes Show. Or if you want to humanize healthcare through your business or organization, learn how Rehab U Practice Solutions can help here! You can also schedule a call with Rafi to discuss your company’s positioning strategy and brainstorm a business development plan here. Check out Rafi’s latest book, Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare, on Amazon!

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show and the author of Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare. His career trajectory includes 12+ years of experience in healthcare management, clinical operations, programmatic development, marketing & business development. He even spent some time as an Assistant Professor in a Graduate Program of Occupational Therapy and has served on numerous boards and regulatory committees. He has worked on projects ranging from patient engagement initiatives to marketing communication campaigns to a multi million dollar project assisting the State of Georgia's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities transition individuals out of state institutions to community residences. His work on Telehealth has been discussed in Forbes.

Today, Rafi helps innovative healthcare companies like technology startups, platforms, SaaS companies & innovative healthcare organizations develop effective positioning strategy and business development plans through his consulting work. He also leverages his experience as a professor and academic to speak and train on the topics around humanizing the healthcare experience & healthcare innovation. In addition, Rafi also owns and operates ProActive Rehabilitation & Wellness, a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic treating patients with musculoskeletal pain.

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Medical Professionals RafiIf you are an innovative healthcare company looking to humanize healthcare through direct service delivery, technology, a device, or software, then reach out. We'd love to talk with you about how Rehab U Practice Solutions can help.

What we can help you do:

✅ Clarify your product, service, or organization's positioning strategy...

✅ Identify what is most valuable and least valuable to your targeted healthcare stakeholder...

✅ Develop a Market Penetration Roadmap to align your company's value proposition with your targeted healthcare stakeholder to develop a bottom up marketing strategy...

We help you not only craft your healthcare positioning strategy, we help you identify your highest value offer for your target audience, align that value with your market, and help you develop a business development system that leverages insights from market data & industry-specific resources to enable your business development team to effectively drive business for your organization.

I also speak and train at healthcare conferences, events, and organizations on topics related to technology-enabled care, healthcare innovation, healthcare positioning, and humanizing the healthcare experience.


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