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Disrupting Healthcare from the Inside Out

Article

To truly transform healthcare, we must create a connected care journey: delivering care that meets patients where they are, when they need it, and continues to be personalized for them through their entire health journey, wherever that may lead next.

Why would a transactional attorney be drawn to an opportunity to solve some of healthcare’s most significant issues? For me, it started with healthcare’s beautifully nuanced complexity and the challenge of tackling a seemingly endless number of problems, but it has been the value I see in disrupting the industry from within that has endured.

It comes as no surprise that Big Tech and other market entrants continue to launch healthcare transformation plays. While Amazon recently shut down its telehealth service, its ambition to deliver care to people’s doorsteps endures. Apple once envisioned improving primary care with its own providers and a data-rich wearable. And Google continues to reshuffle its forays into healthcare including everything from mass data-mining of electronic medical records to telehealth. Each of these new entrants is looking for a side door into an industry that’s long been ripe for disruption. But I am here to tell you that this disruption must happen from within. And it should begin with healthcare’s front door—a door that opens wide to a more connected and convenient system focused on every patient’s long-term health and wellness.

We built our GoHealth model to be the virtual and physical front door to healthcare, but on-demand services should never be developed in isolation. They should be deeply integrated and personalized, which is why we partner with leading health systems around the nation—together connecting the first through any necessary next steps of the healthcare journey for patients. When agile disruptors work alongside experienced industry leaders who have service-line breadth, we see powerful results—in the form of better outcomes for patients, providers, payors and our communities.

Cracking the Code

Health systems, providers and payors are the very fabric of our healthcare system in America. Collectively, they form our healthcare infrastructure, and effective transformation should flow through them rather than be forged anew by chipping away at them. We must modernize the ecosystem while striving to meet the expectations of today’s consumer on their terms, optimizing access, quality and cost.

To truly transform healthcare, we must create a connected care journey: delivering care that meets patients where they are, when they need it, and continues to be personalized for them through their entire health journey, wherever that may lead next. Technology is the ideal accelerant in this equation, fostering access, connectivity, and actionable data and insights that deliver better outcomes.

Connected Care = Better Outcomes for All

We have plenty of proof that fragmented care has significant consequences. The combined waste associated with care coordination failures, low-value care and excess treatment costs as much as $180 billion a year in the U.S. However, we have seen how a connected care model can reduce costs, improve outcomes and increase satisfaction.

Through an integrated care model, patients seeking episodic care benefit from collective insights from multiple touchpoints into the whole person, which better positions caregivers to identify and close care gaps. A patient who comes to us for an ankle injury can also be informed that she is overdue for a critical lab test or screening visit. During that same visit, we can handle that lab draw or ensure she sees the appropriate specialist to avoid a chronic problem becoming a more costly or emergent one.

The benefits of connected care extend beyond the individual to the broader community. We saw this firsthand with our Antibiotic Stewardship program, a joint effort with our New York partner, Northwell Health. By leveraging a combination of technology, provider accountability and patient education, the clinicians in our centers reduced total antibiotic usage in the first year by 21%, which equates to more than 150,000 fewer prescriptions. This success was the result of working from within the system, collaborating across disciplines to solve a complex puzzle with data and processes in a way that only insiders can.

Every time we build a new virtual or physical front door in our communities, we help health systems minimize the cost and risk of new infrastructure and reach new customers they yearn to attract, many who previously ignored care or sought it elsewhere because it was either too inconvenient or cumbersome. Together we use technology that creates a more transparent and satisfying patient experience at every stage of the journey, from saving a spot, to controlling when, where and how patients are seen with communications via text, ensuring they receive the kind of service today’s consumer expects.

Bridging to the New Era of Healthcare, Together

I found healthcare through a side door myself, but I no longer see healthcare as just a complex problem to be solved. I see the value it creates through the eyes of our frontline staff and providers, especially when I read hundreds of “end-of-day” reports every night. These windows into our connected care model reveal seemingly small triumphs, like our patient care coordinator in Charlotte who helped a woman get her mother a same-day appointment after being turned down by numerous other caregivers. They also highlight typically unseen heroic efforts, like our provider in St. Louis who spent an entire day unraveling problems with a patient’s blood pressure medication program and connecting him to a new primary care provider who will stay on top of his condition. Each of these vignettes reflects value creation for the individual patient, their families and the community as a whole.

A collaborative and connected care model is the ideal bridge between the old and the new: the experienced legacy systems already embedded in our communities and the consumer-centric entrants purpose-built for the new era of healthcare. This disruption of the status quo from within is the most expedient and effective way to rebuild a healthcare system that benefits all stakeholders.

Todd Latz is GoHealth’s Chief Executive Officer.

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