The United States has a healthcare value problem. Medical costs are over double that of the rest of the developed world and yet our health status ranks near the bottom among comparable nations. Although critically important, this is old news and the trends haven’t changed in decades.
This blog focuses on our strategy to finally change these entrenched trends.
In a presentation to hospital administrators twenty years ago, I stressed the importance of correctly identifying the root cause(s) of a problem before designing a strategy to fix it.
As an example, I described the situation with auto repair shops in the late 1970’s. They were delivering terrible service. Their customers were angry and everyone was feeling ripped off.
But the underlying problem wasn’t the repair shops. The real problem was the design of the automobiles. They were so poorly made that the cars were ready for the junk heap after just 50,000 miles. More focus on the repair shops was not going to solve the problem.
In my presentation I suggested an analogy between the automobile industry of the 70’s and healthcare in the 1990’s. As a result of our sedentary lifestyles, junk food habits, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, we had also become “clunkers” before our time.
Since then our bodies have suffered 20 more years of increasing abuse while the inflation-adjusted medical costs have continued to escalate.
After nearly three decades of working within healthcare to address its ineffectiveness, I have concluded that a successful change strategy is not possible from within the healthcare status quo.1 So we founded Switch with a vision to improve healthcare through partnerships with employers and energized beneficiaries.
As in the auto repair shop analogy, we focus on the key root causes of poor healthcare value: the direct misuse of science for unwarranted profits, poor lifestyle choices, the work reality of life as a physician, and the lack of legitimate options for employers to improve the situation.
Switch has four key initiatives that change the dynamics of these root causes of inefficiency:
- Our DataBASE™ guides decisions with the “best available scientific evidence”,
- Our Champion Program empowers members to make lasting positive lifestyle changes,
- Our Clinician Outreach enhances collaboration between our members and their physicians, and
- Our Employer Program leverages opportunities within the work environment to improve health and lower costs.
These innovations create the synergy that drive transformational change.
We plan to collaborate with leaders that are excited about doing the right things rather than just complaining about the unsatisfactory healthcare status quo.
Part 2 of “What’s Our Solution” will highlight why integrity is such a key component of successful change efforts.
Breakthrough To Better,
The purpose of Switch Conversations is to invite business leaders in self-insured companies
to join us in dramatically reducing the cost and improving the effectiveness of healthcare.
Edition 1 – Solving a Well-Entrenched Problem
Edition 2 – A Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Edition 3 – Best marketing tagline of all time?
Edition 4 – Post-Truth Killed a President
Edition 5 – What’s an employer to do?
Edition 6 – Profiting From the Opioid Epidemic
Edition 7 – The Keys to Unlocking Better Decisions
Edition 8 – When Difficult Things Need to be Done Well
Edition 9 – Fixing Healthcare
Edition 10 – Beware of a Singing Cow
Edition 11 – Wise Reflections
Edition 12 – Warning: Reader Discretion Advised
Edition 13 – Can AI save healthcare? (Part 1)
Edition 14 – Can AI save healthcare? (Part 2)
Edition 15 – Can AI save healthcare? (Part 3)
Edition 16 – Embracing Reality to Improve Healthcare
Edition 17 – Everything I Needed To Know…
Edition 18 – The Eighth Circle of Hell
Edition 19 – So… What’s Our Solution?
Edition 20 – Protecting Integrity as a Core Strategy
Edition 21 – An Unadorned Legacy
Edition 22 – Time to Grow Up
Edition 23 – Against All Odds
Edition 24 – When Everyone Has Stopped Listening
Edition 25 – Focusing on What’s Important
Edition 26 – Don’t Give Up Your Shot
Edition 27 – Join the Goodhood
Edition 28 – Fixing Healthcare (Recycled)
Edition 29 – Taming the Healthcare Beast
Edition 30 – Leadership
Edition 31 – Better Health Requires Good Sense
Edition 32 – Little Decisions With Big Consequences
Edition 33 – Transformational Courage
Edition 34 – Transformational Courage – Part 2
Guest Post – Happy Thanksgiving! By Jeff Novick, RD
Edition 35 – Transformational Courage – Part 3