Five Key Takeaways from the Health Evolution Summit

Insights from an unusually transparent discussion among industry leaders

By Mike Hollis, President, Strategic Business

Patient-centered delivery. Healthy populations. Efficient, data-driven operations. Accomplishing these ambitious goals for the healthcare industry is a massive undertaking. The recent Health Evolution Summit in Dana Point, California, assembled a who’s who of highly influential industry leadership for an unusually transparent discussion of some of the key challenges and opportunities faced by providers, payers and, most particularly, patients.

As a thought partner to our clients, it’s important for emids be a part of these discussions. I was lucky to be a part of this event, which has always been focused on innovation and what’s next on the horizon. What makes the Health Evolution Summit special is that it doesn’t include media and bankers looking to develop deals. As a result, attendees really let their guard down and real conversations happen.

Unlike the past few years, policy discussions weren’t the No. 1 theme of the summit. Discussion primarily centered around how the industry will use data to transform care delivery in a way that patients demand.

This change point is precisely where emids is positioned—at the intersection of digital transformation and the healthcare consumer.

Here are some of my key takeaways along with quick takes from attendees:

Data: Several sessions discussed the importance of improving data acquisition and interpretation to bring about better decision making. It’s one thing to install these massive systems, but what are we going to do with the volume of information that’s out there? How do we handle the influx of data on the consumer’s terms?

“Seven to 10 years from now, managing data will be table stakes … despite the fact that no one is good at it now.” – Dan Loeep, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Telehealth: Telehealth is another emerging technology. It’s on its way. With states starting to loosen the reins, especially on reimbursement, people—particularly payers—are seeing telehealth not just as a bolt on, but as a key part of their strategy.

“We can’t afford to lose the human touch in healthcare.”– Susan Turney, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Marshfield, Wisconsin

Consolidation: Unprecedented consolidation is happening in healthcare, and combinations that would never have been considered in the past are changing the landscape, such as the expected acquisition of Aetna by CVS. The conversation in California was around what is necessary to survive. And the simple answer is that you must be consumer focused.

“We know the status quo is not sustainable … in no way, shape or form.” – David Cordani, Cigna

Risk Assumption: Health plans and providers are no longer the only ones assuming risk. Platforms are assuming risk, so at least everyone is fixed on a North Star of better outcomes.

“I have a crazy idea for pharma: Bring them in to take risk with me. If we get people off Rx, you’re part of the health system and you grow with us.” – David Feinberg, Geisinger

Loneliness: The unexpected discussion of loneliness as a health issue was also addressed. In a study published in the journal Heart last year, loneliness was described as the “discrepancy between one’s desired and actual level of social connection.” Loneliness has been linked to cardiovascular disease, chronic illnesses and lack of compliance with care directives.

“The loneliness epidemic presents a huge opportunity to leverage traditionally female characteristics to impact a human challenge that disproportionately affects men.” – Alexandra Drane, Walmart

Michael “Mike” Hollis is president, Strategic Business for emids. He oversees emids’ marketing and sales operations and is responsible for overall sales effectiveness, business development and client relationships, as well as for articulating the company’s service offerings to prospective clients and industries. Michael is an active member of Nashville’s professional and nonprofit community, serving on several advisory boards and as a committee member of the Nashville Technology Council and the Nashville Health Care Council’s Leadership Health Care initiative. Be sure to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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