What is the “healthcare business?” More importantly, what ISN’T?
I had an epiphany while at the J.P. Morgan 33rd Annual Healthcare Conference last month in San Francisco. The vast majority of the CEOs presenting and the companies they serve and represent are truly in the “Healthcare Business.” The epiphany I had was simply that Curant Health is not in the “Healthcare Business.”
Curant Health is in the “Patient Care Business,” the “Clinician Support Business,” the “Improved Lives and Outcomes Business.”
Healthcare CEO discussions at the 2015 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference were centrally focused on market share, potential market, revenue, acquisitions, corporate strategy, competitors, etc. It is important to note that I am a devout free market champion. I am not, in the slightest, disparaging these companies in the “Healthcare Business.” They are essential. It is the profit factor that drives creativity and the allocation of scarce resources. I applaud many of them for underpinning the much maligned yet best healthcare system in the world. (Don’t believe what you read to the contrary.) But I also cast a wary eye on those in the “Healthcare Business” making actual clinical decisions for patients. It is a slippery slope.
Curant Health is solely driven to do two things: 1) Improve the lives of our patients by filling a huge void that exists between healthcare providers and patients, and 2) Grow our reach. We challenge healthcare’s status quo by continually providing more meaningful services to those with chronic conditions, improving their outcomes, and ultimately reducing the spend for this most costly sector of the healthcare population. Any and all growth in Curant Health’s revenue means more people are living better lives and the overall health care spend is being reduced.
One of the biggest ways we reduce spending on health care is by decreasing hospital readmissions for our patients. In a study Curant Health conducted with Purdue University and Amedisys, we evaluated the effect of telephonic medication therapy management (MTM) on home health patients. After a 30 day period of providing MTM services to a select group of patients, we found that patients who received Curant’s medication therapy management were three times as likely to avoid hospital readmissions after a 60 day period.
Where Are The Patients?
The premise of the Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is to serve as a platform for companies to share with analysts and healthcare industry insiders their respective companies’ financial projections. But the analysts could also use a little dose of “helping the patients” message as well. I look to these CEOs to make sure we are all ultimately keeping our eyes on the ball. There were some notable exceptions such as Jonathan Bush from Athena Health, who spoke on the methods Athena is taking to expand the continuity of care in health systems and keep the focus on the patient.
However, the majority of the presenters did not focus on the patient. The principal focus was on the competitive landscape of the company, its market share potential and candidly, disparaging competitors and associated healthcare business sectors.
Some of the smaller healthcare business represented at the conference did give insight to some truly creative solutions to the healthcare issues we face. Some very young bright minds were on a panel focused on health care technology startups.
The capacity for technology to continue to improve patient care, the patient experience, the patient care team and ultimately outcomes is thrilling. My fear is that these wonderful innovators and their ideas, many of which fiercely challenge the status quo, will either be squashed by the competitive actions of the large companies in the healthcare business or immediately acquired and incorporated into the corporate leviathan. I strongly encourage these creative companies to continue to grow organically and challenge the healthcare status quo. We will all be better for it.
In the meantime, I have my eyes on the Armada Specialty Pharmacy Summit in May where I will be presenting on ways to get the best outcomes and highest value from new medications capable of delivering real cures to patients with chronic conditions. Keep an eye on us via our company LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.
COO, Curant Health