Healthcare is quickly evolving. Innovative technology solutions driving value-based care are bringing affordable, accessible, and quality care to patients.
For this month's CEO's Corner, I reached out to internationally recognized value-based care thought leader and Director/Senior Researcher at Harvard Business School, Dr. Mahek Shah, for his insights on where value-based care and technology are taking us.
Kim Evans: How do you see technology-enabled solutions in healthcare leading to more accessible and cost-effective care?
Dr. Mahek Shah: Technology-enabled solutions are leading to more accessible and cost-effective care because it enables people or care providers to leverage solutions at home that typically were only available in more traditional settings like doctor’s offices or hospitals.
Let’s take telehealth as an example - this service enables people to consult their doctors remotely without having to visit a physical doctor’s office. Telehealth promotes both accessibility and cost-effective care, but it hasn’t been widely adopted yet. I think the outbreak of COVID-19 may serve to catalyze the need to adopt telehealth services in a scalable and coordinated fashion. Teladoc, a leading telehealth platform, will benefit from this trend.
Moreover, I view the proliferation of retail clinics like Minute Clinics and the recent announcement by CVS Health to open 600 more Health HUBs as a signal that there is growing demand for these disruptive practices. The Minute Clinic and CVS Health HUBs use technology to enable nurse practitioners to staff their clinics rather than doctors. It is convenient, both in time, with walk-ins and online scheduling, and location, often within a 5-mile radius.
Kim Evans: Though many agree that a focus on improving patient outcomes at lower total cost (value-based care) would improve healthcare, it has proven to be difficult to implement. As someone who is an expert on value measurement, how do we shift the system further toward value?
Dr. Mahek Shah: I’m optimistic that we can accelerate the shift to value-based care by adopting four things:
First, we need to align all health care stakeholders - patients, payors, providers, suppliers, and society - around value. Second, we need to measure what matters - we should make it easier to collect patient-reported outcomes. Third, we need to change the payment model to pay doctors for outcomes and providing high-quality care versus fee for service. Fourth, technology-enabled products or services need to be deployed to better collect, analyze, and understand workflows, outcomes, and costs.
Kim Evans: Employers want a healthy productive workforce and decreased healthcare costs, doctors want better outcomes and less busywork and health plans want care offered at the cost most advantageous to them. Each stakeholder is looking for a different outcome, making it difficult to find a middle ground. How do we bring these seemingly disparate stakeholders together to transform healthcare?
Dr. Mahek Shah: You’ve hit the nail on its head - no one stakeholder in health care today is incentivized to promote people to live their healthiest lives. This is why health care is full of opportunities to change the status quo. I believe the health care system needs disruption: we need to redesign the delivery system that puts the patients at the center, providing services that meet the needs of patients and delivers value. We need products and services to meet people where they are, a system that delivers care at the right time, right place, and by the right team.
Specifically, employers and health plans need tools to discover the high quality providers to make available to their employees. And doctors need tools that can automate their EHR documentation and other administrative tasks to enable them to practice at the top of their license.
Kim Evans: Twenty years from now, when you look back on your time in healthcare, what will you be most proud of?
Dr. Mahek Shah: I’ll be proud of being an innovative leader in disrupting healthcare. I’ll look back knowing that I was a change agent and part of a team leading companies to value-based, tech-enabled care. I will be proud of creating a system that puts patients first and allows them to live their best lives with affordable and accessible tools and services. As I shared in my TED talk in 2014, your visit to the doctor should be like going to an Apple store - a delightful experience with a Genius Bar available when you need them.
Interested in learning more about how to help patients find the highest value health services? Sign up for our upcoming webinar, "Empowering Patients To Be Engaged Health Care Consumers" on March 25th: