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Career Story: Healthcare Insurance Expert For A Medical Device Manufacturer

Healthcare Insurance Expert For A Medical Device Manufacturer

Job Title: Health Policy And Economics Manager

Type of Company: A division of a large medical and pharmaceutical company that sells surgical devices.

Education: BS, Business Management, Westfield State College

Previous Experience: I worked for a large healthcare insurer for 8 years and my experience there made me valuable to the company I work for now.

Job Tasks: My primary job duties include getting insurance coverage for new products, procedures and devices that my company manufactures or promotes. I call on health insurance companies, large employers, employer coalitions, hospitals and surgeons. I need to make sure that all our economic stakeholders are aware of new products and procedures and that they know what they're worth and what it costs to employ them. I cover all of New England but am frequently asked to travel all over the country to cover industry meetings and conferences.

I also need to maintain some clinical expertise so that I can discuss the advantages of one product or procedure over another. Occasionally I'm even required to go into the operating room with the sales representatives and surgical staff to see the device or procedure in use. Most of the procedures we promote are minimally invasive or laparoscopic, so I'm spared the necessity of seeing patients cut wide open. (Most of the time, in fact, it's more like watching a surgical procedure on TV.) We have excellent data on the advantages of minimally-invasive surgery over conventional methods. Patients can get out of the hospital quicker and have far less pain and scarring when a minimally-invasive technique is used, and their odds of infection are vastly reduced.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is pitching things to the chief executive officers of major employers and insurance companies. I also get to travel to attend conferences and meetings.

The worst part is trying to get people to listen to me when they have so many other distractions.

Job Tips:
1.) Have a good understanding of statistics so you can make clinical studies easy for customers to understand. 2.) Make a point of learning to understand data in all its forms. Be able to put data into PowerPoint presentations. 3.) Develop people skills, follow-up skills and be politically-correct at all times.

Additional Thoughts: People-handling skills are the most important part of my job. Almost anyone can learn clinical and financial analysis skills, but being able to present your facts and your analyses to customers in way that's comprehensible is critical.

I also find that being good at office politics is extremely important.

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