With all of the change and uncertainty surrounding the health care industry today, “I can’t think of a more challenging time,” said Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish at the 2017 AHIP Institute & Expo in Austin. That’s one of the reasons AHIP convened leading experts, academics, chief executives, and other renowned health care voices at this annual conference to deliver solutions and answer today’s most challenging questions in the industry. From engaging consumers and influencing policy to establishing effective, value-based partnerships and improving individual health outcomes, the 2017 Institute set the stage for what is sure to be an eventful year ahead in this ever-changing landscape.
The conference was best summed up through Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, who said, “We need everyone, both parties, to develop the health care system we all deserve.”
According to AHIP President & CEO Marilyn Tavenner, when it comes to true innovation that drives real results: 1) we need comprehensive consumer feedback on what works, 2) innovation requires time and investment, and 3) we must truly help the individual and impact health outcomes.
“Our industry needs to forcefully drive change” despite “tremendous shortcomings.” Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish
Swedish’s presentation went through his game plan for reinventing and transforming the health care system, including seven key characteristics needed for the transition.
“We need a unique American system … The question at this point in time is, will the federal government be the operator or the organizer of health care?”Gov. Mike Leavitt, Founder of Leavitt Partners
Gov. Leavitt, former Governor of Utah and HHS Secretary under the Bush Administration, focused on the current state of health affairs and policy in D.C., noting we are in a transition period as Senators debate the AHCA and the future of health care.
Dr. Eric Topol
“Data is the world’s most valuable resource. While we will never transcend human-to-human bond … machines don’t have a bad day or need vacations – they’re doctor helpers. We better get used to it.”Dr. Eric Topol, Director with Scripps Translational Science Institute
Dr. Topol highlighted the importance and future of precision medicine, and the threats of medical errors, mass screenings, and imperfect treatments.
“Health plans are the only players in the ecosystem to bring consumer technologies to the forefront, but they need strong partnerships with other [industry players].”David Biel, U.S. Leader, Health Plans at Deloitte
Biel and his colleagues took a look into the future and how health care must evolve with the generations – at one point, the tech-savvy millennials of today will be the Medicare Advantage members of tomorrow.
“The real challenge … is to believe that this is the right thing to do and sit down and negotiate a value-based contract even though there may not be a competing biologic or drug. We’re going to bump into each other along the way, but we’ll get there.”Eric Schultz, President and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Shultz and David Ricks, CEO of Eli Lilly & Company, sat down to discuss their differences, solving the drug pricing crisis through value-based contracts, and how payers and manufacturers can work together to increase competition and drive down costs.
“[Patients] are getting all that traditional health care can provide – the best hospital care, specialists, care managers. And yet, we’re failing them. We’re not addressing their total health.”Dr. Nirav Shah, SVP and COO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
Dr. Shah joined John G. Lovelace, President of UPMC for You and President of Government Programs with UPMC Health Plan, and Angie Kalousek Ebrahimi, Senior Program Manager for Blue Shield of California to discuss innovative ways health plans are caring for patients with complex conditions, addressing social determinants of health, and intervening in a clinically effective yet less costly manners to help members live healthier lives.
“Businesses die without money, it’s as essential to business as blood flow through the body. But they don’t have to exist to make money.” John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods
During his session, Mackey challenged attendees to evaluate their vision for health care in America, asking if their business has a higher purpose beyond shareholder value.
Cost-sharing subsidies are “the secret sauce. The reason people buy coverage that they didn’t before is because they get financial help to do it.”Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California
Lee and his conservative counterpart, Avik Roy, President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), debated what works best to ensure the individual market is sustainable for the long term. While they disagree on several points, they both agreed that a balanced risk pool and reducing premiums and costs for consumers are keys to stability.