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Yelling into the void

I attended a New England Journal of Medicine webinar on value-based care yesterday…net is I heard a lot about “patient centric” care, “patient experience” and quality but precious little about functionality and patient-specific or patient-desired “outcomes.”

Except for a few tangential mentions by the Optum Medical Director, what patients actually want was not addressed at all.

This is a big miss.

Like so many other failing industries, healthcare is completely missing the point – which is delivering what the consumer wants. “Patient experience” is mostly was the office clean, the nurse nice, the floor quiet.

We are ignoring this at our peril…we are not asking what patients actually want from healthcare; NOT the processes and functions noted by one of the panelists but how patients define “healthy”, what they want to be able to do, what functionality is important to them, how they want to live their lives.

Healthcare is provider and process centric;  the entire industry has failed to address what consumers and employers want from healthcare.

Here’s hoping that healthcare figures this out faster than Detroit did.

What does this mean for you?

Healthplans and healthcare providers that figure this out will kick butt.


4 thoughts on “Yelling into the void”

  1. Great points Joe. My experience in getting healthcare is important, MD patient relationship ease of getting an appintment etc but what’s the point if the focus is not on my medical outcome.

  2. Hi Joe,

    I appreciate a lot your insights into the shortcomings in the healthcare sector.

    Interestingly, the Workers’ Comp field often faces an even greater disconnect, despite the financial stakes and multiple parties who should be invested in outcomes. Processes are frequently even less efficient, and the focus on what the injured worker needs is often lost.

    Thanks for a timely reminder for industries, like healthcare and Workers’ Comp, to realign their priorities.


    1. Thanks Serge – WC does have its warts, although I’d suggest the industry’s focus on indemnity forces it to recognize the central importance of patient functionality. This focus may not always result in good outcomes…but there is no question WC is far more interested in patient functionality than any other payer.

      be well Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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