30 Oct Building A Healthier World
Blog post written by Stacie Lewis, Bethel University student and Transform attendee
Mark Bertolini knows how difficult it can be for a patient’s family to navigate the healthcare experience. When his son was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, he had to rely on his own intuition and talents – from finding a nutritionist and a psychologist to making sure the cafeteria was providing food his son could eat. “It’s a maze,” Bertolini said of the experience. “It shouldn’t be as hard as it is. You should be able to get care wherever you are.”
Looking at the nature of what drives healthcare costs, Bertolini compared the healthcare industry to Tesla’s roadblock in developing an affordable, sustainable car – the expensive lithium ion battery. Just as the lithium ion battery required for Tesla’s cars keeps the cost of their machines well above the average household income, the healthcare delivery system makes up 85 percent of premiums charged to individuals. The challenge, Bertolini says, is “how do we create an ecosystem… where healthcare system costs are not larger than most people’s mortgages and the single line most expensive item in most people’s houses?”
Bertolini’s “steps to rebuilding the lithium ion battery” include:
• Revenue neutrality – finding models to create neutrality as institutions move from one source of revenue to the next.
• Clinical efficiency – taking care of issues up front to make the system work better
• Supply chain efficiency – Bertolini proposed a concept where UPS could deliver a sterile kit to an OR before the procedure including both the implant and all the equipment the physician and staff needed for the procedure
• Capital efficiency – shifting thinking about capacity and where providers of care need to be.
Bertolini noted that the healthcare industry is not prepared for consumers to take control of their decisions in buying care. He called this shift in control toward the consumers, “the impending, and very close, retail nature of the healthcare marketplace, which none of us are quite prepared for, but which will happen sooner than we think.”
In the impending new healthcare ecosystem, Bertolini suggests, customers will work more closely with providers. It will be a personalized experience tailored to each consumer. Bertolini pointed out the popularity of the Coca-Cola microdosing system as a model of personalized consumer experience. Americans want their healthcare where they want, when they want it, in order to make the best decisions for their own healthcare needs. According to Bertolini, this change is closer than many think.