I was fortunate this week to participate in the Forbes Healthcare Summit 2013 in New York City. Following are some of my take-aways from the event:
1. Strong signs of general acceptance throughout the room that ACA is here, and that we may as well accept it and look for ways to improve and capitalize on it. But for a few folks like me, the room was full of healthcare industry heavy weights from all sectors…docs, clinicians, care center CEO’s, researchers, medical students, payors, pharma chiefs, investors, healthcare I.T. specialists, etc. One of them, Dr. Stephen Ondra of Health Care Services Corp. noted that, “One of the most beneficial aspects of the ACA is the energy it’s giving to healthcare reform.”
2. Dr. Robert Robbins (CEO, TX Medical Center), in making the point that patients are being required to accept greater responsibility for their health, noted that, “Health goes on between doctor visits.” Further, in noting the tectonic shift in the healthcare delivery landscape, he commented that, “70% of all physicians in the U.S. today are employed (as opposed to being in private practice).”
3. We were reminded that U.S. healthcare expenditures approximate in size the economy of France ($2.2 trillion USD). Gulp.
4. In a discussion on the operation of the exchanges thus far, it was suggested that the relative lack of health insurance sophistication by people shopping for insurance is causing call handle times to run at 4-5x the normal rate.
5. Probably the biggest take-away for me was the discussion and conclusions centering on expansion of healthcare I.T. By way of example, Cedars Sinai Hospital in LA has a 500 person I.T. staff and a budget of, get this… a cool $500 million annually. Darren Dworkin (I.T. head at Cedars) said, “By this time next year, our patients will be interacting even more with their own EMR than their clinicians will.” This sure looks like THE most interesting space, because of the need for: Shredding the paper, all of it… Promulgating (really sharing) research and treatment data… Educating & engaging patients… Using right place, right time information to make healthcare processes faster, more reliable, and more efficient. (We learned that currently, 40% of breast biopsies are read for the wrong patient. Yikes!)… Moving healthcare info to mobile platforms
6. Comment offered by Dr. Richard Rothman (Rothman Institute): “It’s not enough to care for your patient, you have to care about them.”
7. Interesting observation re the need for a LOT of consumer education: ‘In this healthcare transformation, we have the very real risk of commoditizing care until the consumer catches up.” I’ll offer a personal suggestion here that every (repeat, every) American stop yapping and listening to talking heads about Obamacare, and start reading. Or, pretend you’re a drug rep and take your doctor to lunch, and listen to them about healthcare. You’ll learn something. Do it for you…. There, I feel better, and you will too.
8. I plan to learn more about the work and plans of Dr. Patrick Soon Shiong of Nant Health. This guy is scary smart, flush with cash, and up to some big things.
9. Great presentation by former NBA star, Dikembe Mutumbo on the 300 bed hospital and research center he built in the Congo, chipping in $24 million of his own money. He told the story of being asked by suspicious African pols if he might be doing the hospital as a way of building his brand in order to run for president. I thought that might produce a “NOT TODAY!” response, but he passed.
10. Interesting and a somewhat edgy panel with CEO’s of MinuteClinic, plus an urgent care operation, and the newly appointed head of the AMA. On one hand, the need for ubiquitous retail healthcare presence and access is so evident, yet on the other, it conjurs up images of nurse practitioners working in the back of your neighborhood Seven-Eleven (no offense intended).
11. My 2nd biggest take-away came from GSK chief, Sir Andrew Witty, on sales compensation. GSK drug reps are no longer compensated on pill volume, but on, “What their customers say about them.” Wow!
12. Random droppings:
- “The next blockbuster drug is patient engagement.”
- The shortage of PCP’s is expected to reach 45,000 by the year 2020.
- And one last tidbit to chew on: A prediction was offered from an extremely knowledgeable and respected industry source that within 5 years, employers will be completely out of the health insurance providing business.
A pathfinder in the arena of leadership and employee engagement, Bill Catlette is a seminar leader, keynote speaker, and executive coach. He helps individuals and organizations improve business outcomes by having a focused, engaged, capably led workforce. He is co-author of the Contented Cows leadership book series, and Rebooting Leadership. For more information about Bill, his partner Richard Hadden, and their work, please visit their website, or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ContentedCows