How providers, payers can prepare for consumer-centered healthcare

The healthcare industry is more consumer-centered than ever, and hospital and health system leaders must strategize accordingly, says a new report from the Healthcare Performance Management Institute (HPMI).

The transition to value-based healthcare is one of the industry's top priorities, particularly in the wake of the King v. Burwell decision solidifying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the law of the land, according to the report. During this transition, "power players" such as healthcare providers and payers, have typically controlled the shift, but post-ACA industry disruption has consumers emerging as major players in their own right.

With these changes in mind, healthcare providers must engage consumers to empower them to manage their own health, according to the report. For this to happen, providers must engage their own employees as well and create a "culture of health," according to Jennifer Flynn, health management strategist at Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions, one of the healthcare leaders interviewed for the report.

"Absent a clear understanding and presence of a culture that is supportive of one's pursuit of health, there may be little lasting value," she said. "Any changes at best will be a temporary change in an individual's health status."  

The rise of consumerism has implications for health payers as well. "For the first time, millions of Americans are shopping for health insurance just like they do for other goods and services," Bob Karch, M.D., executive director of HPMI, said in a statement. "Consumers increasingly expect to have a more productive and responsive relationship with their healthcare providers. Employers, insurers and other participants in the marketplace must change their approaches accordingly."

Modern plans, said Anthem Staff Vice President Dan Newton, will need to emphasize consumer engagement as well, particularly in a landscape populated with existing consumer-focused health management tools, products and services.

To learn more:
- read the report (.pdf)
- here's the statement