5 Points of Health Care: Payout of Impactful, Aligned Incentives

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“Why are patients not having good experiences within health care if they are the consumer?”

Kistein Monkhouse, MPA, Founder and CEO of Patient Orator, posed this question to the panelists at our fourth annual 5 Points of Health Care™ Conference. Kistein represented the Patient’s perspective centering the majority of conference dialogue: how can the system better serve the patient that ensures equity and inclusivity? 

Evident in the all-virtual platform, 2020 brought a different feel to the event as the conference reflected on a year many singularly described as “unprecedented.” The rapid implementation of telehealth early on in the pandemic proved that the health care system is capable of prioritizing all stakeholder’s best interests, and digital health is not going back in the bag.  

“In a matter of weeks, we advanced more in telehealth than the past 10 years.”

In 2020, we saw a glimpse of health care’s ability to prioritize patient and provider safety while aiming to improve population health and safely reopen the economy. Juan Aragon, MD, Director of Business Development at EvergreenHealth, affirmed that this past year brought some of the positive changes health care leaders have been striving towards for decades. In a matter of weeks, telehealth and telemedicine adoption were accelerated at a pace never-before-seen during the technology’s history. Rallied against the common enemy of COVID-19, our system recognized the power of collaborating and aligning incentives to serve individuals and their families.

The benefits for quick and effective implementation of impactful innovation could not be denied after the pandemic struck. The solution to a better health care system lies in all of us working towards a culture that supports impactful innovation, aligns incentives and involves the patient’s perspective every step of the way. 

“How do we address [aligning incentives] while keeping the integrity of the health care system?”

As the health care system wastes dollars on duplication, misdiagnoses and misaligned incentives, quality of care continues to decrease. To avoid this, Megan Hauck, Partner of Nathanson & Hauck and representative of the Policymaker’s perspective, advised stakeholders to integrate a more holistic approach to meeting the patient’s needs. This greater context is needed to move from a fragmented system to a system that gives the patient a voice in their own care. 

“Consumer driven health care was the best and worst thing to happen.”

With more than half of health care spending coming from employers, Purchasers face an immense responsibility to ensure their employees receive the best, highest quality health care plans. Consumer driven health care is resulting in many patients and their families experiencing high out of pocket costs, increasing deductibles, and higher co-pays. 

As Lauren Vela, Senior Director of Member Value at Pacific Business Group on Health, in representation of the Purchaser’s perspective, touched on the untapped ability of employers to demand improved care as a function of their purchasing power. The business need for serving patients in a more holistic manner exemplifies the combined power of Patients and Purchasers. As health care continues bowing to market conditions, reminding stakeholders of their status at the negotiation table can improve patient-centered care.

The challenge to keep up with the high costs of health care are weighing on Americans tremendously. Yet, patients can demand their employers wield their purchasing power to ensure they receive the best quality health plans. In addition, many of them can and have been using their voice to force policymakers to enact legislation that is both equitable and inclusive. 

“Fee-for-Service is resulting in fragmented, low quality care.”

Marion Couch, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Cambia Health Solutions who represented the Payer’s perspective added, we need to move from this underperforming, fragmented system to a system that truly values the patient. A system that promotes equities and works to dismantle inequities across the health care industry. One that works to integrate all stakeholder’s perspectives while producing high quality outcomes. A system that aligns incentives and supports an infrastructure that can create a positive, lasting difference.

Hope Through Aligning Incentives 

The overarching theme of this year’s conference embodied the reason we continue hosting our 5 Points of Health Care™ Conferences and discussing the potential of systemic collaborative improvements: Hope. By coming together, we hope to improve a system that oftentimes sidelines lived experiences, frustrations, challenges and obstacles facing each of us in our industry. Through supporting an infrastructure that aims to improve and strengthen health equities, while implementing a culture that adopts impactful innovation, can we make a more person focused and economically sustainable health care system. 

Find a recording of the fourth annual 5 Points of Health Care™ Conference here to catch up on the full conversation. 

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About Nolan Jekich

Social Media Marketing Intern

Nolan joined the Cambia Grove team in August of 2020. His primary role consists of communicating and marketing Cambia Grove’s mission across various social networking services. 

Before Cambia Grove, he graduated from Seattle University where he played baseball and received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies. He has a combination of written and verbal communications experience in several business industries. Nolan was drawn to health care after he volunteered at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School at the start of 2020. He wants to have long-lasting, meaningful impact within the community by making health care more accessible and affordable to individuals and families of every economic background. He is ecstatic to join the organization that focuses on implementing change throughout the health care system. 

When he is not looking to communicate the journey of innovating health care, he enjoys exercise, golf, and writing. Nolan looks forward to helping Cambia Grove communicate the transformation of the health care system, improving his skills as a marketer, and serving his community.