Outcome Health is done with its apology tour and ready to debut its change-agent strategy. After two years of turmoil, the agency, led by CEO Matt McNally, wants to overhaul the point-of-care industry with original compelling content, relevant devices and a new payment model.
Its stake-in-the-ground is a 90-second, heart-tugging video, “In These Rooms,” showing joyous, mundane and even heartbreaking situations in doctors’ offices and waiting rooms to highlight the importance of those spaces in peoples’ lives. McNally, who joined in 2018, recently debuted the video at Digital Pharma East.
“I wanted to pivot the company from the ‘I’m sorry’ and the apology tour to recapture our leadership position that historically was just because of the size and scale, to really recapture a leadership position from being more strategic and innovative. It’s a whole mindset shift for our organization," McNally said. "We really felt and believed that driving change would be the best way."
The change means convincing marketers and ad agencies to create compelling and engaging content specifically for point of care. In the coming weeks, Outcome plans to take its anthemic video and change message to pharma and agencies, as well as push out the message on social media.
Other points in its revamp plan include extending the point-of-care message delivery outside of the office and renegotiating the way the media is bought.
Outcome’s new effort comes after a rocky two years. Beginning in the fall of 2017, accusations about some of its employees misleading advertisers resulted in a lawsuit and ensuing financial turmoil. Outcome spent the next two years—“and rightly so,” McNally said—working to rebuild relationships and trust with pharmaceutical partners, investors and its own employees.
The rebuild included a company cleanup. Cofounders Rishad Shah and Shradha Agarwal stepped down, a new board of directors was installed and the lawsuit was settled under a $159 million agreement. In May, Outcome recapitalized and added investors, including a majority stake taken by Littlejohn & Co.
And it's hiring again. After two years when “we couldn’t get anyone to work here,” Outcome is in talent-growth mode, adding 38 people in the past 40 days, he said.
The new direction includes physician and hospital network changes for Outcome. The long-held belief that bigger POC networks are better is being shelved for a more strategic placement model. The Outcome network is currently 34% primary care and 64% specialty, McNally said, with plans to continue to build out key specialties.
“The size and scale idea is a very dated, in every category. Who cares if you’re largest or the No. 1 or how big? You need to be in the offices that clients want to be in. That’s more of a strategic principle than just a volume principle,” McNally said.
If that’s not enough, Outcome also wants to change the way point of care is bought. When in-office advertising began, it was to augment to the shrinking sales rep forces and agencies and pharma bought via a target physician list. Outcome, through the purchase of IQVIA’s reference file, can now match data sets to make point-of-care buys in the same way as other media, McNally said.
He understands an industry overhaul will take time, but Outcome is committed to getting stakeholders on board.
“Part of this is to be provocative. We know the industry is not going to change overnight, but we want to create a groundswell of change,” he said.