When I first started in healthcare tech, someone told me something. No idea who said it, but it stuck.
“In healthcare, you don’t skate to where the puck is going. You skate to where the puck is.”
If we believe this quote, then we can agree that Wayne Gretzky would struggle as the CEO of a healthcare tech company (not sure if he has ever considered it!). Here’s the interesting thing. I got involved in healthcare about ten years ago, first as an investor, then as a company operator and leader. Let’s remember what life was like in healthcare tech a decade ago:
- EMRs had just been widely adopted by government mandate, digitizing what was previously on paper
- High deductible health plans (HDHPs) represented only 10 to 15 percent of covered worker insurance plans
- Value based care and population health were starting to become (annoying?) buzzwords
- The Affordable Care Act had just been signed into law (March 23, 2010)
We knew where the puck was going. We knew that winners were companies who could help bend the cost curve back to where it should be. We had no idea how fast it was moving and what detours it would take.
Guess what? The puck is here.
A recent Deloitte study showed that consumerism, value-based payment models, and digital transformation represent three out of the top four concerns among healthcare CEOs. We just held our Customer Advisory Board summit last week at Solutionreach headquarters. The majority of the attendees (provider organizations) have risk-based contracts in place with payers. They make more money when they take better care of their patients and spend less to do it. That’s their reality, and it’s our reality as their patient communications technology partner. Our customers came to spend the day with us to talk about how their digital strategies need to meet the needs of the modern healthcare consumer. As for HDHPs, they represent 46 percent of the health plan market. Patients are making decisions like everyday consumers!
The days of asking “when is this avalanche of change coming?” are over. The question isn’t when and how is healthcare changing, it is what are you and your organization doing about it? These changes are here, no matter who wins the 2020 election. These changes have been more than a decade in the making. The economics that underpin these changes are too strong to fade. Sure, value-based payment models will evolve as they mature. CMS will modify quality measures and incentives over time.
My question to you is this: Are you where the puck is?