What’s an Employer To Do?


Healthcare, despite the cartoon, is not a house of cards. It is a highly synergistic system employing over 12 million people and accounting for 18% of our GDP.

However, even with all the good that it does, healthcare in the U.S. has neither provided consistently better health nor adequate cost effectiveness.

In the first four Conversations we touched on data that verify the downward slope of American healthcare value.

There are three crucial issues that underlie healthcare’s ineffectiveness:

  1. Pharmaceutical firms have enjoyed twice the ROI of any other industry for fifty years despite a discouraging lack of drug efficacy.1, 2
  2. Industry-funded influence is pervasive in medical research, health education, and practice guideline development.3
  3. Hospitals and physicians work in an environment that emphasizes utilization of the most costly prescriptions and procedures.4

The synergy of these factors leads to poor health decisions. They have also created the scenario in which an effective political solution is nearly impossible. The second and third factors have created the environment in which a hospital or physician group solution is also unlikely.

So, what can an employer do?

Switch Healthcare was designed to answer that question.

We began by determining the system’s crucial leverage point to improve health and decrease costs. That determination was fairly easy; it is that period before a suboptimal healthcare decision is made.

Pharmaceutical and medical device firms profitably focus at the same point. They have honed the necessary marketing, public relations, and lobbying skills to increase the likelihood their products will be chosen at the point of decision as often and for as long as possible.

Similarly, for us to improve health decisions, excellent skillsets in change management, health education, physician collaboration, and medical data analysis are required.

The answer to “What can an employer do?” is to partner with companies that can effectively reframe healthcare decision-making conversations.

Such an approach, what we call “Decision Focused Health”, can save billions of dollars and greatly improve the health of millions of Americans.

If employers truly want better healthcare value, they’ll need to reshuffle the deck and play a totally new game.

Breakthrough To Better,

1Cancer drugs do little to improve survival
2Medical outcomes decline while profits rise
3Industry influence permeates medicine
4Healthcare moves toward quantity over quality


Switch Conversations is a bi-weekly blog exclusively for potential employer partners.




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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

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