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Industry leaders say that despite criticisms against the healthcare industry, there are some great lessons it can teach other industries.
“While most folks might be quick to point out that the biggest thing other industries can learn from healthcare is how not to make the same mistakes that have led us to many of the fiscal and quality-based challenges we face today, I would take a different spin on this,” says David Calabrese, vice president and chief pharmacy officer, OptumRx, and a Managed Healthcare Executive editorial advisor.
“Rather, I would suggest these industries take a closer look at what is actually quite good about our U.S. healthcare system and how we have gotten to where we are today. Consider the fact that average life expectancy in the U.S. has increased from more than 50 years of age a century ago, to close to 80 years of age today; heart disease mortality has dropped by more than 50% and stroke mortality by more than 70% in the last half-century. We have made enormous strides in the near eradication of numerous infectious diseases, and are tackling what had been almost universally-fatal conditions like cancer with enormous levels of success.”
“There is still a significant role, and consumer and purchaser demand, for community-based organizations. Their knowledge of their markets lead to a different level of service and a different level of community engagement-and consumers notice and appreciate the difference. Beneficiaries have voted with their feet: community-based plans now account for almost half of the coverage in Medicaid managed care."
- Margaret Murray, CEO, Association for Community Affiliated Plans, Managed Healthcare Executive editorial advisor
“Healthcare presents some unique problems that most other industries do not experience to same degree-intense all pervasive regulation being the most notable. Other industries can learn how healthcare companies cope with and manage with the heavy compliance oversight but still improve outcomes for their patients and shareholders/stakeholders.”
- David Schmidt, president of the TPG International Health Academy, Managed Healthcare Executive editorial advisor
“One of the primary considerations always at the front of every healthcare executive's mind is how our decisions affect the health and wellness of the patients and families we serve. Healthcare is very unique in the sense that all of our actions directly impact people across our communities, state, country and, in many cases, the world. This filter, applied more generally across all industries, would spur a powerful paradigm shift in how industry and corporate America affects each and every one of us.”
- Chad Johnson, senior vice president and executive director, Phoenix Children's Care Network
“One of the scariest things we did was stop staging our healthcare marketing – no actors, no scripts, no sound tracks. We call it #LivingProof. It forced us to trust the story and revealed such small, but amazing moments of real emotion and human drama that are part of the healthcare journey.
- Cindy Donohoe, senior vice president of marketing, Highmark Health.
“One of the most important lessons that other industries can learn from healthcare is the importance of focusing on the customer, or in the case of healthcare, the patient. The patient is clearly at the center of today’s healthcare models. But it wasn’t always that way. Too often, discussions about reforming our healthcare system emphasized controlling costs, which seemed to crowd out the importance of providing high-quality, high-value care to patients. Now we are playing catch up. I often wonder where our healthcare system might be today if we had set that tone decades ago when the policymakers first began talking about “medical inflation” and the need to reform our healthcare system. Industries that take their eye off the customer-in our case, patients-may find themselves going down unproductive paths.”
- Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE, CEO, AMCP
“The biggest learnings that other industries can ascertain from healthcare is the value of conscientious investments in higher standards of education; technology; research; collaboration and sharing of best practices that will inevitably help to drive success no matter what the industry.”
- David Calabrese, vice president and chief pharmacy officer, OptumRx, Managed Healthcare Executive editorial advisor