‘We’ve Been Wrong About What Our Job in Medicine Is’
The added uncertainty about the fate of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare doesn’t change the perfect storm driving the need for change. While bureaucrats and politicians banter, the need for change – dramatic change – continues. The combination of today’s senior demographics and health care costs is unsustainable.
So what are we as leaders in health and senior care to do?
Evolving payment models focus on episodic payment across settings including the post-acute realm with increasing emphasis on value-based purchasing and risk-sharing. Those shifting payment structures create a resulting shift in focus to look at ALL factors that influence a person’s health and wellbeing. For example, we have inadequate and often unmeasured solutions for chronic and complex health and social problems, especially in the community where the ‘easy’ button has all too often been to send people to the ER. That has to end. But meanwhile we have a foot in each world – or perhaps more accurately, in several worlds.
No one questions that change is happening. It is all around us. Some health and senior care providers are stymied, wondering where to even start. Others have dug in, beginning to map out a new vision, one step at a time. Many have multiple change efforts in progress.
To be successful in the emerging future, providers need to focus on creating wellbeing – not just health. And to do that effectively, they must have an integrated system with all the parts working together with a strong, central client-centric perspective – not a system-based or payer-based view. But it also needs to be more than that. This is not just a health care issue – this is a life issue.
In ‘A Case for Change . . . A Call to Action,’ the leaders at Lifesprk take a look at what change is needed, and whether current efforts go far enough. How can we see the experiences we are creating through the eyes of a senior? And why should that matter? Can you have transformation without knowing all the answers . . . yet? How can we breakthrough the bricks and mortar that currently restrict and constrict the wellbeing experience we are trying to create to achieve Triple Aim?
Maybe as best-selling author, surgeon and writer Atul Gawande suggests ‘we’ve been wrong about what our job in medicine is.’