Innovation Digest – June 2019 Vol. 2

What is our objective in health care? We talk about having it all – best price, best quality, best access — but our approaches frequently seem to imply that achieving any one will automatically lead to the others. Not so. We need to focus on the metrics we’re trying to attain first, to be able to use it as a benchmark to tell us how we’re doing on all three. For example, if we focus intently on driving down price of any service or therapy, will we automatically ensure high quality care and wider access to that care? History and anecdotal evidence from real-world experience gives us the disheartening truth: “not universally.” If we focus on widening access to care (even basic, essential, preventive care), will we ensure high quality, reasonable cost? Again, it doesn’t play out that way. Why? Time and again, I arrive at the same conclusion. We don’t have a sense of health as a common good – one that should be attained by all with a focus on basic, preventive care first. We know (from research and our own experience) that our system tends to favor crisis-focused, end-stage, when-you’re-diagnosed care, which is neither the best quality nor the best priced, when you think about it. The healthcare crisis in our country is not one of poor technology, workforce or resources. It’s poor articulation of a societal definition of health, poor incentives, poor habits, poor policy and poor leadership. We won’t overcome this deficit by denying care until crisis, restricting access to basic preventive services, squabbling about price, or pretending that all in the delivery system aren’t acting in their own self-interest first. Those willing to push the conversation about what contributes to “health” and to prioritize programs and policies that help in self-determined progress toward that end should command more of our attention.

In this issue:

  • Private payers cover more than 40% of drug costs
  • Is Our Health Care Spending Worth It?
  • JLABS executive on the ROI of a ‘no-strings-attached’ health tech incubator
  • Express Scripts to launch digital health formulary for payers, patients
  • NPC, AcademyHealth Offers Tips for Boosting RWD Transparency
  • The Biggest Ways to Reduce Specialty Drug Costs
  • Health Insurer Plans To Optimize Drug Treatment Using Data Analytics
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