HOL Function Driving Value Across Healthcare Industry


Health Outcomes Liaisons (HOLs) serve as a scientific bridge between companies and health care system decision-makers in managed care.  With billions in sales riding on effectively communicating with these organizations, HOLs are increasingly working to effectively convey a therapy’s safety and cost effectiveness.

Despite the critical nature of these groups, companies often struggle to deliver exceptional HOL services in an ever-changing business environment. Becoming familiar with current activities and the future outlook for the HOL function is critical for success. Key areas on this topic that were outlined in a recent Best Practices’ study included:

  • Compliance & Regulation: As the healthcare environment in the US continues to change, compliance & regulation will continue to impact the HOL role. The need for health outcomes data and for HOLs who can deliver that data to decision makers and thought leaders with clarity and impact is increasing.
  • Product Lifecycle: HOLs have deep involvement over product lifecycle in many of the benchmarked companies in our recent study. HOLs at more than half of companies begin working with a drug at Phase III or earlier. Despite this, many companies are transitioning to involve HOLs in late Phase II development so studies can benefit from decision-maker feedback that HOLs capture in the field.
  • Outcomes Data: Outcomes data, and consequently HOLs, are expected to grow increasingly important as ACOs, integrated networks and other healthcare stakeholders begin to base reimbursement decisions more frequently on patient outcomes. 

HOLs are increasingly filling the critical communication role between the pharmaceutical sector and Managed Care groups. Biopharmaceutical companies are still in the process of refining the HOL function to ensure that outcomes data is useful to recipients. As the value of the Health Outcomes liaison function evolves, it is critical for leaders to understand how to navigate and understand the activities of effective HOL programs at leading organizations.

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