Healthcare We Want Is Coming
“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” ― John Maynard Keynes
The healthcare facts are changing. They are changing in a way that should enable us to be very optimistic. While the national debate has been dominated by rising costs and extending health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), the changing facts with the most profound impact on us receive little attention. The science and technology changing facts are the reason MD Anderson President, Dr. Ronald DePinho, believes it will result in the discovery of the cure for cancer. The customer (reimbursement) changing facts are the new demands for value in addition to service and incentives to help people get better (the best way in reduce cost and improve health).
In just over the last decade, we have begun to understand science at the molecular level launching whole new fields of “omics” (genomic, proteomics and microbiome). We now use data science and massive computational algorithms to identify potential cancer cures and can test them with human cells. Medical research and scientific studies now almost double our knowledge of the human body every two years.
Medical records are becoming digital and are now sent in nanoseconds rather than days. Mobile health devices can monitor physiological metrics and are beginning to forecast heart attacks or other adverse conditions. BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, linked to Breast Cancer, can be identified by doing little more then sending a saliva sample and $99 to a company.
In a non-market economy like healthcare, reimbursement (Medicare) is the customer with most of healthcare spending flowing through our reimbursement system. The customer (Medicare) started October 1, 2012 to demand value by withholding reimbursement on behalf of patients. This is just the beginning of a major transformation of reimbursement rewarding value to one day when it rewards desired outcomes.