Fixing Healthcare

Louisiana health care rally, October, 2009. Photo courtesy of Flickr user aflcio.

“Fixing Healthcare: Connecting Patient to Doctor”: A panel with Garri Jones, Founding Partner, Circle Health (Europe); Sheryl Skolnick, SVP, CRT Capital Group LLC; Nick Hanauer, Partner, Second Avenue Partners, and Investor, Qliance; and Constantine Davlantes, VP, Business Development, NivaSonix; hosted by Doug Smith, President, W.D. Smith & Associates

How do we move from a unit-pay system to one that produces health?

There is a new health-care ecosystem emerging, with more and more subsidies.

Paying on a per patient rather than per treatment basis would dramatically change the face of health care and the quality of its output.

There is no difference between the US and the UK in terms of direct-patient care.

Is there value in insurance companies?

We have allowed insurance to broker every healthcare interchange, rather than just those that are catastrophic. If you substitute a catastrophe-only insurance system and a primary-care centric model for our current system, you cut down considerably on the necessary steps to receiving health care and expenses. Nick Hanauer has done this in a line of clinics across the country, charging a small monthly fee ($50) for unlimited primary care.

Implementation and availability of medical high-tech is not that widespread. Increasing the ease of communication with the doctors office (online appointment scheduling, etc) will considerably streamline the process.

For a long time, doctors, nurses and medical professionals weren’t being paid for tele-medicine, so there was no incentive for .

Internet has allowed patients to become informed, but doctors don’t like this and don’t want to treat them. However, in the long-term, paired with financial information, increased access to medical knowledge can only help the patient and the medical industry. Doing social media with patients, getting online, getting online medical records is only a matter of time.

“It’s not health reform. It’s health insurance reform,”  Skolnick said.

The cultural wave of consumerism is not as understood in health care as in other industries.

Customers are starting to shop more for care, as they’re paying more and more out of their pockets.

Eg. Breast cancer patients and their families are very well-informed, through social media, etc. They are regarded with some disdain by health care professionals, but they are affecting change: increased awareness, more research, etc.

We must decide as a society what kind of innovation we want or need. In health care, we have a huge amount of innovation, but no business model for innovation that drives cost down and quality up.

Paying for health, rather than paying doctors only when you get sick.

Louisiana healthcare rally, October, 2009. Photo courtesy of Flickr user aflcio.