Live from WHCC: CEOs re-examine insurance

The World Health Care Congress is taking place in Washington, D.C. This is a
high-level congress with many CEO-level delegates. This morning's session
included the CEOs of Verizon and Pitney Bowes, who both have specific
knowledge of the problems of the US healthcare system. The consensus is the
employers want to spend their healthcare dollars more efficiently. Pitney
Bowes' CEO Michael Critelli suggested that most employers do not realize
that they need to get employees connected with their health and that it's a
long-term process--they're too concerned on healthcare as a pure cost
center. He stressed that even if employers stopped paying for health
insurance, employer health promotion programs would still pay for themselves
in terms of reduced absenteeism and greater productivity. He is looking for
health plans to use more marketing segmentation to understand what motivates
different segments of the population and suggested that, for instance,
using fitness trainers may be the best way of motivating potentially obese
young people.

- see more reports from the conference on my Health Care Blog

PLUS: The head of the UK' NHS IT project, Richard Granger, presented an
upbeat assessment of the project's progress and welcomed the opportunity to
"purvey some facts." Eighty million email messages were sent in the past year,
with more than 50 percent of radiology exams in the Southern Region now being
digitally available via PACS. He suggested that remote radiology reading was
the leading edge of an information "liquidity" movement that might end up
changing the medieval guild of provider organization.

ALSO: UnitedHealth Group's Bill McGuire, who's spent more time than he'd like
on the front page of the WSJ recently, will talk about consumerism later