It’s about understanding medical care, cost drivers, and components thereof.
Several years ago (ok, more like ten) I was in a client CEO’s office discussing medical care cost drivers, competitors, and possible differentiation strategies. He stepped out for a few minutes to take a call, and, finding myself with nothing to do, I pulled out the latest Health Affairs to catch up on the latest and greatest in health policy research.
Upon this august gentleman’s return to his office, he asked me if I actually read Health Affair. When I said I did, he said something to the effect of “no one reads that, they just carry it around to look smart.”
And therein lies the problem.
And no, it’s not that I don’t need all the help I can get to look smart.
It is a lack of attention to the underlying drivers, influencers, issues. It is a failure to think about how Medicare’s physician reimbursement affects commercial rates, how Medicaid enrollment drives provider behavior, how Part D enrollment influences drug pricing, how the lack of coverage among certain populations increases facility costs to commercially-insureds, how low adoption of evidence-based medicine makes for poor outcomes, how productivity is affected by insurance coverage status, how payment reform will affect workers’ compensation medical expense ratios.
There’s also a predilection on the part of some to ignore, or more commonly discount, information that runs counter to their worldview. I see this all the time with workers’ comp execs when discussing Obamacare; they allow their political blinders to affect their business decisions.
There is so much happening in health care delivery and financing and reimbursement and evaluation and coverage that no one can possibly keep up.
What does this mean for you?
The ones who take the time to read and listen objectively, to think about import and impact are going to be more prepared, more aware, and better equipped than those that, for ideological or other reasons, have tunnel vision.
And thus more successful.