The healthcare provider seat is getting hotter and hotter as technology companies stateside and close offshore competitive models encroach on the status quo. Healthcare providers do business as usual at their own peril.
A recent survey by the Center for Connected Medicine of healthcare IT executives, for instance, showed that 7 in 10 are “somewhat concerned” about technology companies like Google, Amazon and Apple entering the healthcare space. Just 17% said they were not concerned while 10% said they were very concerned, reflecting JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s observation that the bank’s healthcare venture with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway “pissed off” some healthcare executives.
These concerns revolve mostly around the ability of those companies to offer a better consumer experience. Other healthcare executives admitted that technology companies would force price transparency, which they claim would lead to “consumer confusion.”
Wow. A better consumer experience and price transparency - sounds just like what we have a right to expect from our healthcare system. Any politicians, academics or healthcare providers claiming consumers are inept is old and tired, as Regina Herzlinger, the mother of consumer-driven healthcare, deftly pointed out in her book Who Killed Health Care? America’s $2 Trillion Medical Problem – and the Consumer-Driven Cure, and I expounded upon in my book Bill Please: Consumers Driving Health Care.
This flimsy, frankly offensive excuse for getting in the way and not allowing consumers and free market principles to fix our healthcare system just won’t fly anymore. I fully expect these technology companies’ entry into healthcare to further prove this point.
And just off America’s shore in the Cayman Islands is another reminder that the healthcare status quo is headed the way of Yellow Cab, Kodak, & Borders in the face of Uber, digital photography, and Amazon.
In 2014 Narayana Health, in a joint venture with America’s largest not-for-profit health network Ascension, opened Health City Caymen Islands (HCCI) beating U.S. healthcare prices by 60 to 75%, with glowing patient reports to boot, and projections of significant profits once patient volume picks up. Three years in, HCCI has seen about 30,000 outpatients and over 3,500 inpatients, performing almost 2,000 procedures with a zero mortality rate. HCCI is accredited by Joint Commission International, which further endorses their quality outcomes.
The HCCI model, with zero copays or deductibles, free travel for the patient and a chaperone for 1-2 weeks, is potentially very disruptive to U.S. healthcare – and would actually save insurers a bundle. A team of U.S. doctors that visited HCCI came away stating, “The Caymen Health City might be one of the disruptors that finally pushes the overly expensive U.S. system to innovate.”
As the Healthcare Providers’ seat heats up – hopefully these new entrants will motivate them to become part of the solution – or get out of the way.
Sources: Govindarajan, V. & Ramamurti, R. June 22, 2018. “Is this the Hospital That Will Finally Push the Expensive U.S. Health Care System to Innovate?" Harvard Business Review Retrieved 11/27/18 from: https://hbr.org/2018/06/is-this-the-hospital-that-will-finally-push-the-expensive-u-s-health-care-system-to-innovate
Sweeney, E. 11/21/18 “Survey: Most health informatics executives see ‘big tech’ as a threat," FierceHealthcare Retrieved 11/27/18 from: https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/tech/survey-most-health-informatics-executives-see-big-tech-as-a-threat
Rylan Klaseen & Associates
Serving Southern California: