Innovation Digest – October 2022 Vol. 2

The wrong incentives continue to drive health care design, delivery, and payment to the detriment of our health. With the acknowledgment of underinvestment in public health, the “reawakening” to inequity and discrimination, and our growing mental health crisis, I had hopes that meaningful policy and practice change was on the horizon. My inner cynic observes that recent “debate” in the literature and policy media instead resurrects the age-old fight over who’s to blame for rising prices, rather than emphasizing the more root-cause questions: what do patients need and value to have good health and well-being?

If research entities, philanthropists, venture capitalists, health plans, and pharmaceutical companies ALL would invest more in patient expertise (both individual lived experience and organizations with experience in research and advocacy), we might start our conversations about equity and value with a different set of criteria. Yes, health quality and value looks different for individuals and their families. And mapping that glorious diversity to find the common elements should be priority one. Those patient-centered impacts are the key to correcting the incentives for clinical and qualitative research, for quality measurement, and for payment that is tied to value.

Patients and families are often left out of the conversation (and decision-making) governing research, practice and policy. Instead, they are forced to navigate complex and barricaded systems they had no input into creating. If we want a healthy society, the most important expert isn’t the MD, PhD, MBA et al., it’s the person (and their family) who’s health, ability, and opportunity we’re trying to improve. We’ll know we have a patient-centered health system, when patient voice and leadership is the first criteria, not the last.

In this issue:

  • ‘The Cash Monster Was Insatiable’: How Insurers Exploited Medicare for Billions
  • What science tells us about structural racism’s health impact
  • At Verily, a growing line of business builds on a revolving door to the FDA
  • Integrating Primary Care and Behavioral Health to Address the Behavioral Health Crisis
  • California’s Marketplace Innovations: Driving Health Plan Accountability For Quality And Equity
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