Upping the Ante on Improving Health

The inaugural HLTH event took place at the Aria in Las Vegas this past May and was attended by over 3,500 innovators, who came from across the entire ecosystem of health. Participants at HLTH 2018 included industry payers, providers, pharma, employers, policy-makers, investors and solutions providers, as well as non-industry tech companies, retailers, media and those motivated to develop a more expansive and inclusive approach to providing access to and support for health services.

Throughout the four day event, and in more than 140 sessions, over 375 provocative speakers shared their most forward and ambitious ideas and strategies during keynotes, track sessions, media announcements and startup pitches. There was no shortage of innovative solutions, strategies, or technologies demonstrating the industry’s passion for improving the current health system.

Reading through the post-event reviews and evaluations from media, speakers and attendees, one can hope that, in the coming year, the industry will see revolutionary changes occur across the ecosystem of health. But ingrained habits are hard to break, disruptive innovations are challenging to adopt, and change – let alone industrial-sized change – is a tough hand to win. Reinventing how we think about, manage and pay for health in the U.S. will require placing bigger bets with uncertain odds for success.

With escalating and unsustainable health costs on the foreseeable horizon, we increasingly need to let go of what’s not working and wager more resources on solutions, services and strategies that have the potential to result in substantial and lasting payoffs. If we are seriously serious about improving health for individuals, then we must take a fervent look at where we need to up the ante on not just improving, but revolutionizing our entire approach to our health services and health systems.

We need to up the ante on not just improving, but revolutionizing our entire approach to our health services and health systems.

Upping the Ante on Improving Health

While HLTH 2018 got us off to a great start in transforming health, let’s agree that there is still a way to go before we can count our winnings. We can begin celebrating our shared cache towards revolutionizing health when:

  • Our current health system begins to less and less resemble our past health system – and is more and more shaped around the economic, social, environmental, emotional, spiritual and physical health needs within our communities, businesses and personal lives.
  • We have a better grip on what actually works (and on what really doesn’t work) and we stop wasting money, time and resources on health care that is “justified” because that’s how the system works.
  • Health plans are actually “plans” for health. Plans that include a footprint of an individual’s current health situation, offer avenues for improving or avoiding health conditions, and communicate the associated health costs, along with the ways and means to cover these costs. Plans for health that are not designed, managed or reimbursed by one entity, but incorporate and combine “plan-ettes” aggregated from an individual’s employer, community, state or government, retailer(s), social network(s) – or even from their technologies.
  • Individuals are at the helm of defining and designing their health plans and can adjust according to short- and long-term needs.
  • Loyalty and customer satisfaction are the levers that those who provide for an individual’s health needs depend on to earn equitable rewards.
  • Waiting rooms are unconstrained by brick n mortar. Health opportunities are recognized and responded to wherever individuals live, work, recreate, gather and commune.
  • The foundations supporting health are more likely to come from outside the incumbent industry, diminishing the incumbent power players’ hold on access, cost, and profit.
  • The scope of health is more inclusive of solutions and strategies once considered quackery, but now proven to relieve stress, fight disease and increase engagement in healthy behaviors.

When future winnings in health shift from 150,000 billable ICD-10 codes… from buildings loaded with expensive and aging equipment… from one area of the health industry having a stacked deck of network access … to payoffs that result from more iterative and interoperable innovations that recognize, alleviate and manage health needs in a more holistic and symbiotic manner – then we can celebrate our shared jackpot!

After all, isn’t improved health for all what we’ve been betting on all along?

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T. S. Eliot

HLTH: The Future of Healthcare. Won’t you join us in reimaging and reinventing health – for all?

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