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February's Topic: So What is Your Reimbursement Strategy?

When: February 11, 2015
5:00-7:00 p.m.
Where: Ann Arbor SPARK Central
330 E. Liberty Street
Lower Level
Ann Arbor, Michigan  48104
United States
Contact: Dave McGuire

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So What is Your Reimbursement Strategy?


Think it’s too early for you to be asked: “So what is your reimbursement strategy?” Think again. The fast changing healthcare landscape is reforming payment/pricing policies. VCs understand both the growing influence and control of payers. You should too. Identifying an early payer strategy can greatly influence investment interest, potential acquisition opportunities or ultimately launch success. 


A decade ago payer strategy was just an afterthought to your product’s value proposition and brand strategy.  Today, understanding what motivates payers’ access decisions is critical to entrepreneurs and should influence the decisions you are making about:

  • Forecasted market opportunity and its ramp
  • Product development
  • Need for outcomes and evidence-based research
  • End points to include in clinical trials
  • Assessing product value arguments

Whether your goal is to successfully commercialize your product through a take to market product launch strategy or a product license or acquisition, early planning for your payer strategy will impact your valuation.  Join us to hear more from the perspective of the both entrepreneur and the payer on formulating an early reimbursement strategy.




Joseph M. Brown, Jr.


JMBJ Consulting

Joseph Brown’s experience spans over 28 years in the managed markets. Joe served at GlaxoSmithKline for over 20 years in various roles, establishing over 25 new products with government and commercial payers. Since 2004, Joe has provided managed care marketing leadership to manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceuticals and biological products.
Manufacturers often engage Joe’s services for product situation and opportunity assessments, strategic planning, and market positioning with federal, state, and commercial payers. Companies involved with rare or complex diseases, 505b2 FDA approved products, high cost per treatment issues, and extraordinary payer controls typically characterize the focus of his assignments. Joe maintains relationships with leaders in managed care, trade, and government compliance communities to assist with solution on these issues.



Michael Butler
President and CEO
Life Spine

Mr. Butler has turned Life Spine into one of the fastest-growing spine companies in the world, bringing to market 32 new product families, derived from over 120 patents and distributing in 25 countries since the company's inception in February 2004. Life Spine is his fourth professional start-up company and is among four companies that he currently operates; the others being Gizmo Medical, LLC, Gizmo Medical Ltd. (Hong Kong & China), Centric Medical and of course Life Spine, Inc. His business career spans more than 19 years with expertise in product development, business development and financial management. Mr. Butler has served in various management capacities at companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Inter-Med, Richard Wolf Medical, Visionary Biomedical, Microbrush and Eli Lilly. During that time, he successfully brought more than 200 distinct medical devices/pharmaceuticals to market and created significant investor value. Mr. Butler graduated from Marquette University in 1995 with a BS degree in Biomedical Mechanical Engineering.


Thomas Shehab, MD


Arboretum Ventures


Tom Shehab joined Arboretum Ventures in 2014 as a Principal.


Previously, Tom served as a member of Arboretum’s Technical Advisory Board and as a board member of an Arboretum portfolio company, ArborMetrix. In his current role, Tom draws upon his clinical and healthcare administration expertise to evaluate new potential investments and provide strategic support to Arboretum’s portfolio companies.


Prior to joining Arboretum, Tom spent 12 years as a practicing physician specializing in gastroenterology. He was involved in a number of entrepreneurial healthcare related ventures and held multiple physician-executive roles. Most recently, Tom served as Chief of Staff for more than 1,000 physicians at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and as the Chair of Medicine for Integrated Health Associates (IHA), a multi-specialty group consisting of 300+ providers. Under Tom’s leadership at IHA, the Department of Internal Medicine grew, in a 2 year period, from 40 to 150 providers and annual revenue more than doubled.


About BioArbor:


BioArbor hosts educational networking events for the life sciences industry in the greater Ann Arbor area. BioArbor's focus is on technology commercialization, financing strategies, business development, regulatory affairs, and marketing. Each monthly meeting features a networking session and an invited speaker, followed by a Q&A period. Invited speakers share experience on topics such as drug discovery and development, medical devices, diagnostics, and tools. BioArbor events are open to the public and are especially suited for those interested in starting or growing life science businesses.






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