Today, healthcare is focusing on patient centricity and value transparency. These concepts, while sounding new, are fundamental building blocks of our healthcare system and serve as a true north for all participants in the healthcare delivery process.
Building a Shared Language
What is patient centricity? In a previous post, Scott Cullen, MD, defined patient centricity as a concentric set of capabilities (service, environments, coordination, comprehensiveness, and technology), that enable each other and work together to help the organization deliver a “good patient experience.” “Real patient centricity is part culture, part infrastructure—and all by design.” This is an extremely powerful concept and a great way to focus every healthcare interaction, transition, etc.
Dr. Cullen frames value transparency as an approach that proactively offers patients pricing information and financing opportunities related to their care.
As we think about interactions throughout the healthcare ecosystem, we need to keep in mind this concept of adding value to the care process in a way that is visible to the consumer and serves to differentiate one organization from others.
Leading by Example
There are many examples of healthcare organizations disrupting the status quo and delivering unique solutions that support patient centricity and value transparency.
PillPack: This company, part of the Amazon organization, engineered a cloud-based model to deliver custom medication packages designed to help patients know which packet to take at what time each day. The service also manages refills and works with insurance providers to identify the true out-of-pocket cost to the patient—which will exclude shipping, as the site touts free shipping. It is not a stretch to see PillPack integrating with Alexa to remind patients to take their medications and provide alerts when a new pack is on its way or has been delivered.
eMedicalc: This cloud-based service provides surgery centers with tools to enable them to calculate reimbursement amounts due from payers and patients without having to understand complex payment systems and contracts. This technology is user friendly and empowers ASCs to give their patients critical advance information regarding their surgery-related financial obligations.
Amazon Care: Amazon recently launched a pilot program for Amazon employees and their families in Seattle. Amazon Care offers virtual visits, house/office calls, and prescription filling/delivery services focused on putting the patient at the center of the care delivery process. Through a network of physicians, nurse practitioners, mobile care nurses, and care couriers connected by an Amazon Care app, a healthcare team can rapidly diagnose and treat many basic ailments that could otherwise send patients to the emergency room or traditional urgent care setting.
Patient centricity and value transparency are inextricably linked. The patient is the most important component of the care model, and every provider engaged with that patient, in the short or the long term, needs to be adding value in a manner the patient understands and appreciates. Healthcare disrupters like those mentioned above are pushing the envelope and introducing revolutionary products and services that enrich how organizations and providers deliver value to patients. Going forward, the true north for every organization must be the combination of patient centricity and value transparency, and many new entrants are disrupting the old models of patient care, experience, and value.