Under Mark Heinold’s leadership, LDM Group, a provider of behavior-based prescription management programs, has experienced significant growth over the past few years. Considering where healthcare is headed, that growth should continue and accelerate. LDM Group provides solutions in the EMR/EHR and e-prescribing space that marketers are now yearning for as more HCPs adopt these platforms, and the company also has a prominent platform for communication in retail pharmacies. With over 17 years of healthcare experience, Mark has a pretty good idea of what it takes to reach physicians and patients. He took the time to discuss LDM’s recent growth, the company’s unique model and the potential of these rapidly expanding channels.
PM360: What has led to LDM Group’s recent success?
Mark Heinold: I think it comes down to three things. It’s our people, products and process for bringing new innovations to market. We’ve hired a number of great individuals over the last few years as we’ve expanded significantly. The employees here are really passionate in general about improving patient outcomes. They’re dedicated to our cause.
Additionally, we’ve been fortunate to bring some great new and innovative products to market, which is a process that a lot of companies struggle with. We have a unique model here at LDM in which everybody has responsibility in bringing new innovations to market. I think that’s created a really fun and dynamic environment, and it’s helped us to exceed the aggressive growth goals that we’ve expected of ourselves. We’re really lucky to have the right people and the right products and then, from an innovation standpoint, the process to get new products to market quickly.
Can you describe some of those innovations?
On the EMR side, we’ve had numerous innovations that have led to the growth of LDM, including the ability to message healthcare providers within their workflow. These messages are non-invasive, and are complementary and supportive to what they’re trying to do during a patient interaction. EMR growth and provider messaging have been part of the growth strategy here at LDM and our ability to provide targeted messaging to patients through the EMR system has been a major contributor to growth as well.
What does it take to remain ahead of the game in this space?
We have a different kind of model here, which is that many of our innovations are actually inspired or suggested by our clients. We have a staff of people who are responsible for managing client relationships on a day-to-day basis, but everybody here helps create new products. In fact, a lot of people spend an inordinate amount of time visiting clients and talking—not about our current product line—but about ideas that could solve the client’s problems. Our goal is to help our clients solve their issues and help fill the gaps and unmet needs in the market.
EMR adoption has been growing. Do you see this trend continuing?
Yes, through government incentives, obviously, adoption has now taken off. I think everybody talks about consolidation and how things are going to consolidate, but we’ve seen significant growth through physician and provider adoption, which has been great to see.
We’re also seeing a trend with some of the mid-sized EMRs with 5,000 to 15,000 providers really taking off, and they are continuing to grow at a very rapid clip. Part of that has to do with the fact that they’re very nimble and able to adapt to their client requests very quickly—and providers appreciate that. But ultimately, we’ll see more and more consolidation over the next few years as we’ve expected.
Is there anything else your company would like to do in these channels in the near future?
With the most recent HIPAA guidelines that came out in January, we’ve seen clarity about what Health and Human Services is going to allow us to do through a face-to-face communication. Manufacturers now have a clear understanding of their options. So awareness types of messaging and complementary messaging with OTC products is definitely something that will continue to gain popularity since the most recent HIPAA regulations make it much clearer.
How can pharma use providers to reach patients?
Historically, when you look back at how pharma has reached patients prior to broad-based DTC, it’s always been through the provider. I think the pendulum is swinging back that way. Now there are viable channels that can be produced at scale for the manufacturer and the targeted approach has become more and more popular because patients expect real-time, one-on-one interactions with messaging.
Patients are looking for very customized information that’s specific to their disease state. Now manufacturers have the option to do that through the provider as well as the pharmacy, which we’ve been doing for years.
Can this targeted communication be used to help drive adherence?
Yes, it’s specific behavior-based communication and it’s the real-time delivery of information based on that patient’s behavior.
For instance, in the physician’s office we want to make sure that we’re providing that patient with the background and impetus to go and fill their prescriptions, ultimately decreasing prescription abandonment. We do it based on delivering the right message to both the provider and the patient at the most meaningful time.
Other than medication reminders, educating patients on the disease state and the ramifications of taking their medication or not taking their medication is important. When you look at patient behavior and the ability to reach that patient in real time with a message that resonates with him/her, this has really led to strong return on investment for our manufacturer partners and has driven strong outcomes for the appropriate patient.
Can the EMR channel be used to reach no-see physicians?
One reason for limited rep access in recent years is that it’s sometimes construed as potentially invasive to the workflow of the physician or provider’s office. One of the nice things about EMRs is that we’re embedded within the workflow and we’re not invasive to the physician/provider or interruptive in what they’re trying to do. So yes, the EMR channel can be an excellent way to reach no-see providers.
What is the greatest challenge currently facing the industry?
As a whole, it is the ability to proactively address the changing healthcare environment. Healthcare systems and technology are advancing so fast. I see a lot of companies struggling with this migration towards technology, especially with EMRs and on the pharmacy side to some degree as well. The companies that embrace technology and are interested in getting involved early on will be much more successful than those that take the wait and see approach. Through our certified technology and dedicated staff, LDM is poised to meet those challenges and engage both providers and patients toward better outcomes.