The current time in US health care delivery is the most promising in my 30 years of serving health care organizations. It is also one of the scariest times. While there are opportunities for all healthcare delivery players – hospitals, doctors, insurers, employers, & patients – there are also threats. The best advice out there is to pay attention. Pay very close attention to who’s doing what. And, commit to gaining a clear understanding of how the US health care system is evolving. The importance of it is too great to just shrug and allow the forces in the market to have their way with you or your organization.
Each change needs to be assessed in the context of a few key questions drawn from economics. Not the economics of arcane, complex econometric models. Rather the simpler aspects such as these:
Does the health care market change I’m experiencing make it easier to understand a service offering, its cost,and benefit? Has transparency within the transaction increased?
Does the change make it easier for a patient to understand the medical value of a diagnostic or therapeutic option? Does it help her/him compare value of various services offered?
Is access to the right care at the right time increased?
Does the change increase the degree of integration of health care providers? So much patient harm comes from the dis-integrated services that all of us involved in health care need to avoid fragmentation.
And finally, what are my innovative options here? Which innovations should I undertake to learn how to succeed in the evolving market? With whom should I engage to pursue personal or organizational health? Given the risks with innovative change, how much courage do I need to muster to see it through?
So, this is a blog post to suggest that you step into the swirl of the market change with an attitude of possibility instead of cynicism. There’s a whole lot out there to be cynical about, but not too many remarkable things come from cynicism. As for the spirit of possibility, yep – lots more opportunity there. Give it a shot!