The coming together of the physical and digital worlds is giving a new boost to innovation in healthcare. How will that impact markets, players and patients?
Pharma & Healthcare
We support life science companies and health insurers in mastering the challenges of tomorrow
In a world where healthcare is the most indispensable industry of all, Roland Berger advises companies that care about our health.
Healthcare companies are facing a changing environment: new, disruptive technologies are entering the market, new levels of treatment individualization are being achieved by means of stratified medicine, digital technologies allow the creation of new opportunities to demonstrate the practical effects of pharmaceutical treatment methods and medical technology companies are being challenged by increased regulatory and market access requirements. At the same time, manufacturers and suppliers are under great cost pressure. Digitization enables health insurance companies to take advantage of new opportunities to design care pathways and strengthen their customer relationships.
At Roland Berger, we help navigate the industry through these problems and move it forward. We focus on innovative market strategies and international expansion as well as careful management of the supply chain and production sites, enabling the transition to individualized medical care with the patient at the center.
Customer-oriented and lean processes are the key to future growth and yet, many companies operate on a country-specific basis with little external benchmarking or independent supervision.
Roland Berger works with your company to develop suitable commercial operating models that standardize processes for all key levers and functions. These include segmentation and value proposition development, execution quality, organization and internal collaboration, KPI, people and performance. Through our experience with clients from around the world, we have a proven assessment approach and understand how individual strengths and weaknesses can be effectively leveraged. We are ready to apply our long years of experience also for your company.
Competition between the various pharmaceutical segments is increasing, with greater pressure on profit margins. Consisting of the process steps "procure - make - deliver - plan", the "integrated supply chain" has become the focus; an area in which Roland Berger has a long track record of successful projects in the pharmaceutical industry. We can combine this concept with best practices from other step-by-step industries to strengthen your position.
Developing a new drug is expensive and regulations are strict – circumstances that put great pressure on R&D. New technologies and players are constantly emerging. Innovation processes have changed. To plan a successful R&D strategy, it is therefore not enough to know what the market currently demands. Imagination and lateral thinking about how the market will develop are just as important. What will drive the pharmaceutical industry in 20 or 30 years? When so much of your investment is tied up in R&D, your company cannot afford to make misjudgments about the future.
We have decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. It is true that the past cannot provide reliable guidance for the future. But this experience has equipped us with important analytical skills. We have seen trends come and go and observed how products become successful or fail. We have studied in detail how management strategies work and understand why they sometimes do not work. If you work with us, we can put this knowledge to work for you.
Continuous cost pressure in the healthcare system is making it increasingly difficult for MedTech companies to achieve the traditionally high growth and profitability figures. At the same time, the increasing challenges that hospitals are facing and the digitalization offer vast opportunities for MedTech companies. These are just some of the reasons why MedTech companies have to constantly question their business models and take on the role of healthcare providers, for example by extending their value chain towards the patient. At the same time, these trends mean that the performance of all corporate divisions, from development to production and sales, is becoming increasingly important.
Roland Berger regularly assists MedTech companies with our comprehensive functional know-how and our deep understanding of customer needs to meet the following challenges, among others.
The overall market growth in the MedTech industry is slowing down, but there are opportunities for growth in many areas and regions. We will work with you to find these opportunities, match them with your core competencies and thus realize profitable growth together. In this context, we often accompany our clients in the development of new (regional) markets and the acquisition and integration of M&A targets.
Permanently accelerating innovation cycles and more individual customer requirements are increasingly challenging the "classic" R&D process of MedTech companies. With our customer understanding and access, we can help you to align product development closely with the customer and thus efficiently develop innovations demanded by the customer. At the same time, we can bring new impulses to your company by integrating young companies and thus further expand your innovative power.
Stagnating growth and rising costs are putting the traditionally high margins of MedTech companies under pressure. As the market leader in restructuring, Roland Berger brings extensive experience in improving economic results and regularly achieves sustainable success with our clients. We usually focus on sustainable optimization across all value-added stages - for example, optimizing production, sharpening the product portfolio or increasing sales efficiency.
You can measure our jointly developed strategies by the results achieved. From the strategic decisions we have made, we derive precisely the organizational and process changes required. By closely monitoring the organization, we then help to turn these into reality. Our clients regularly confirm in independent surveys that this leads to sustainable implementation success.
Digitization is a constant companion and an essential lever of our cooperation. How can new business models and added value for customers be derived from all the generated data? Where can RPA solutions enable significant short-term efficiency increases? We know where digitalization can support and how and we use it for our clients in multiple ways.
Healthcare and Hospitals
The landscape of service providers in the health care sector is subject to increasing dynamics, especially considering the constantly changing regulation. Market conditions for healthcare providers are generally considered favorable. The healthcare market is growing steadily due to increasing patient numbers and higher per-patient expenses. But in many countries, we have been seeing sustained economic pressure on hospitals and a high investment backlog for years. This economic and financial pressure is further intensified by increasing outpatient care and a multimorbid patient structure. This patient structure also affects nursing home operators, who must ensure the care of people in need of nursing care while being challenged by staff shortages and increasingly strict minimum legal requirements.
Roland Berger has many years of experience in healthcare consulting to help your company navigate through this complex landscape. We offer a comprehensive range of services and support you in various areas.
We help service providers to solve the most diverse strategic problems. Against the background of a changing regulatory environment, which also creates new competition, we advise service providers in questions of medical strategy. Within the environment of location, network strategies and structural assessments, we analyze to what extent a consolidation of locations or the establishment of centers with selected medical specializations can be beneficial. In this process, the challenge of a very high investment requirement often arises. In this case, we also advise together with our partners in the areas of construction and investment strategy. We also advise university hospitals in particular on the development of a targeted research strategy. Digitalization is also becoming increasingly important for healthcare companies. With our digital experts, we are on the forefront of digitization and advise on various issues across the entire value chain.
In hospitals, personnel and material costs increase often faster than the fees generated by patients. Hence, many healthcare providers are under an increased cost pressure. Roland Berger therefore supports healthcare providers in profit improvement programs. To achieve sustainable effects, we take a holistic view of hospitals in a contribution margin logic and optimize everything from medical services (e.g. optimizing length of stay), medical services (e.g. optimizing operating rooms) and non-medical services (e.g. cleaning and catering) to administration.
In the event of acute liquidity crises, we also carry out restructurings as well as reorganization reports. Within the scope of this we consider liquidity optimization measures as well as economic and financial restructuring measures.
The healthcare market offers attractive investment opportunities even as consolidation increases. Here we bring transparency to the upcoming transaction in the context of vendor commercial due diligences and commercial due diligences or support the purchase or sale process in a leading role. After a successful M&A transaction, we help healthcare companies to smoothly integrate the acquisition in the sense of a post-merger integration (PMI), so that after successful integration not only the economic result is right, but also the new corporate culture wins over employees.
In addition, we help service providers to adapt their organization to the new environment even after a transaction, growth or consolidation phase. Both on the operational and on the management level.
With sustainable change management and coaching, we also ensure that our work is sustainable and that knowledge is transferred into the organization.
Hospitals in many countries are under ongoing cost pressure and legal cost-cutting measures in the health care system will sometimes exacerbate the general conditions. While staff shortages and the associated collective bargaining negotiations will lead to a further increase in personnel expenses, medical progress and digitization will require high investments, revenue growth is often significantly slower. Additional pressure results from a multimorbid patient structure and a shift towards chronic diseases, coupled with a growing awareness of the need for high quality care.
In order to meet these challenges and to cope with the pressure on costs and earnings, hospitals must not only continuously improve their operating performance but also position themselves optimally in the market from a strategic point of view. With this in mind, Roland Berger works with service providers of all sizes and all sponsors. Roland Berger supports private, public as well as general and specialized hospital operators in questions of strategic medical development, performance improvement and cost-cutting measures, including procurement optimization and digitization initiatives.
The outpatient sector is the largest or second largest area of health expenditure in many countries. In addition, the outpatient sector has been growing disproportionately fast compared to the inpatient health market in many European countries for years.
The main drivers of outpatient care are, in particular:
- Patient needs: In case of doubt, patients prefer outpatient operations to inpatient operations because they do not need to stay in hospital
- Cost advantages: In a direct comparison, outpatient procedures are usually less expensive health insurance companies are therefore interested in more outpatient treatments
- Medical progress: Treatment options are constantly evolving, and many interventions are increasingly standardized, minimally invasive and have lower-risk
After hospitals and outpatient medical care, the nursing sector is usually the third largest segment of many health care systems. In Germany, for example, the care sector has been gaining in importance since 2015, with above-average growth of 4.8 percent per year. This development is the result of strengthening and slowing trends that can be grouped into seven influencing factors. More elderly people and thus people in need of care are confronted with more prevention and thus, less need for care. In addition, there is more need for professional nursing care on the one hand but fewer available personnel on the other. Finally, there is a high investment backlog and, more outpatient care.
A high degree of regulation and the changing needs of the people to be cared for and their relatives increasingly ensure a more varied range of care services. In addition to the "classic" old people's homes, new living concepts such as assisted living, nursing shared flats and neighborhood concepts are being added. An adapted, varied range of nursing care that takes these needs into account is thus becoming increasingly important for nursing home operators.
Nursing home operators have a limited scope of action in the context of a highly regulated environment. Roland Berger can help you actively shape this room for maneuver, whether it's growth ambitions, which are often slowed down by acute staff shortages, efficiency gains through digitization initiatives or other strategic issues.
Homecare companies that provide patients with medical aids in their own homes or in nursing and old people's homes are in a challenging market environment. Historically, the sector has been characterized by high competition and strong price pressure from health insurance companies. Now, medical technology companies are also developing further along the value chain, closer to the patient, and are thus moving from supplier to competitor. The increasing demands of the patients cared for in terms of service levels and the individuality of the therapy are creating additional complexity.
We help Homecare companies to formulate the right answers to these challenges and turn them into reality. We regularly supplement classic levers such as the optimization of processes and service levels with innovative, digital solutions.
With digitization, health insurance companies can accelerate their transition from payor to player and intervene even more actively in care: In the course of innovations, such as electronic patient files or apps for care and service, ecosystems are created at the interface between insurance and the insured, in which classic and digital care interact.
All functions of health insurance are changing, from digital contact in sales to invoice verification with Artificial Intelligence or the digital coaching of chronically ill patients. A large number of digital services, optimized patient pathways and other care offers need to be developed and implemented. At the same time, and for this to be successful, internal development processes must be modernized and organizations made fit for digital forms of work.
Roland Berger advises and accompanies health insurers in the development of digital strategies, in the implementation of projects such as patient files or the introduction of apps and digital services, as well as in internal cultural and structural changes. We draw on decades of project experience and constantly adapt our methods to new trends and developments. We develop our measures in constant dialog with our customers. The team combines a wide variety of skills and focuses: doctors, economists, experts in the field of digitization and IT, and data scientists.