AHIP 2017: Antidote to political drama is to focus on healthcare's north star, says Michael Leavitt

Money
The healthcare industry can't abandon compassion, but it also can't ignore economic reality, Michael Leavitt said at the AHIP Institute on Wednesday.

AUSTIN, Texas—If you’re feeling worn down by the drama and uncertainty of a possible repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act and other changes in the healthcare landscape, former HHS secretary Michael Leavitt has some encouraging words for you: In the big scheme of the country’s evolving healthcare system, this is but one chapter in the middle of a 15-chapter novel.

And at the end of the book, there will be a “uniquely American” solution.  

RELATED: Beyond ACA repeal and replace—health experts issue a blueprint to make American healthcare great again

Conference

13th Partnering with ACOS & IDNS Summit

This two-day summit taking place on June 10–11, 2019, offers a unique opportunity to have invaluable face-to-face time with key executives from various ACOs and IDNs from the entire nation – totaling over 3.5 million patients served in 2018. Exclusively at this summit, attendees are provided with inside information and data from case studies on how to structure an ACO/IDN pitch, allowing them to gain the tools to position their organization as a “strategic partner” to ACOs and IDNs, rather than a merely a “vendor.”

The story started with the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s. It continued from the Clinton administration’s mostly unsuccessful attempts to reform healthcare to the patients’ bill of rights, to managed care, to “Obamacare” and the transition from fee-for-service to value-based and accountable care, Leavitt, also the former governor of Utah, told the audience at the 2017 America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute on Wednesday.

It’s “abundantly clear,” he said, that “we want to live in a country where people get care when they need it.” At the same time, it’s clear that the healthcare system has an economic problem. It’s unacceptable to lose that human compassion. But it’s equally unacceptable to ignore healthcare costs, he said.

The antidote to these turbulent political times is to focus on the end of the story and the continuing journey to provide quality care at an affordable cost, Leavitt said.

“I don’t think we’ve lost our compassion [but] overall, it’s still going to drive us to value. If we want compassion and economic leadership: value, value, value. That’s the north star.”

Suggested Articles

The country will see a shortage of up to nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

CVS CEO Larry Merlo earned 618 times as much as the median employee at the company. That trend isn’t rare among the biggest names in health insurance.

Dr. Asaf Bitton has been tapped as the executive director at Ariadne Labs.