Using Innovation To Help Stop Coronavirus Spread

posted by David Holmberg, President & CEO, Highmark Health

on March 5, 2020

The coronavirus is top of mind for everybody. It is a national issue and a world issue. COVID-19 is going to affect everybody regardless of race, creed, color, or whether you’re a Republican or Democrat.

At Highmark Health, we believe access to care is really important, and it has got to be affordable. Containing and treating COVID-19 is going to take partnership between government, insurance providers, drug makers, and the science community.

In the short term, health insurance providers play a crucial role in making sure the health care system works. We are and must be responsive to the crisis that we have ahead of us. And it’s going to be important that our capabilities facilitate care and make sure caregivers are available.

Innovation is going to be the solution. When we think about our whole health care system, it was fundamentally built post-World War II to address infections and accidents and issues that were at the time most prevalent. Now, as we sit here today, it’s chronic disease and other issues.

What we’re seeing with the coronavirus, and what we’ve got to do to address chronic disease, calls us to innovate. And that means innovate in ways to use technology to reach people and communicate and to help them manage their health – really changing how we think about health in general. We’ve got to move from treating people when they’re sick to focusing on keeping them healthy in the first place.

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