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Health Care Innovators: New Players Meet Long-Established Regulations

January 31, 2019 | Innovation

POLITICO Health Care Innovators: New Players Meet Long-Established Regulations, sponsored by CVS Health, explored how disruption and innovation are bringing new opportunities to improve health care. Tom Moriarty, CVS Health Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer and General Counsel, kicked off the event with a timely discussion about how the combination of CVS Health and Aetna is challenging the status quo in health care.

Following opening remarks, an expert panel addressed how innovations are shifting the center of care, increasing patient engagement and improving health outcomes. The panel discussion was anchored in the belief that established health care companies are disrupting the industry from within. Among the experts, there was consensus that these companies have the expertise and reach to enhance how consumers experience health care.

Experts included:

  • Peter Basch, MD, MACP, Senior Director, IT Quality and Safety, Research, and National Health IT Policy, MedStar Health

  • Jay Desai, CEO & Co-Founder, PatientPing

  • Ann Hwang, MD, Director, Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, Community Catalyst

  • Mona Siddiqui, MD, MPH, Chief Data Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

View a video of the full POLITICO Health Care Innovators panel discussion.

A New Center of Care

Dr. Basch emphasized the importance of thinking beyond brick-and-mortar facilities, such as hospitals and the physicians’ office, so that we are able to meet patients where they are and when they need us. He encouraged health systems to not only consider themselves as physical sites of care, but distributed care networks supported by accessible solutions, such as home care, retail health clinics and technology. By doing so, our health care system will be better positioned to evaluate what is right for a patient and their particular condition.

Expanding access to local community-based care is a critical component of new and innovative distributed care networks. Saddiqui noted that 80 percent of the time, care that patients seek in a hospital setting could be administered at an alternative site. “In these instances, it is absolutely critical to have care in the community and in the home.” As an example, the panel referenced how retail health clinics, including MinuteClinic, can provide patients with meaningful touchpoints and complement primary care in between doctors’ visits.

Making Care Both High-Tech and High-Touch

Mobile health has evolved from specialized devices to now being integrated into common devices like smartphones. These technologies provide patients with the ability to monitor their health and share important information with their health care providers who can follow up by phone, virtually or in-person based on the information received and the patient’s circumstance. Joanne Kenen, POLITICO Executive Health Care Editor and panel moderator, referred to this trend as “marrying high-tech and high-touch.”

To illustrate this concept, Kenen shared an example of an 85-year-old patient living with diabetes and asked how basic technology could make a difference in her health care. Desai explained that by inputting information in her smart phone, she can ensure that information is shared across the full care continuum – enabling her providers to create treatment plans tailored to her specific health and lifestyle needs. This type of integration between technology and a patient’s care team is key to the new model of care CVS Health is leading through its combination with Aetna.

Aligning Payment Models to Improve Patient Outcomes

Payment models that focus on improving long-term health rather than simply treating an illness are an important strategy in improving patients’ quality of care. Panelists agreed that payment models must address the social and economic factors of care, which oftentimes lead to chronic conditions. To achieve this, greater alignment across the health care system is needed. “Currently, the health care system is going in two different directions,” said Hwang. “For example, on one side we’re focusing on coordinated care and specific patient outcomes, and on the other we’re still rewarding volume over outcomes.”

At CVS Health, we believe that a focus on outcomes improves health and contains costs by connecting patients to the right care at the right time. We implement value-based management programs to target the most costly and complex disease states to help improve individuals’ health outcomes.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.