What connections will move health from reimagining to reality?

Health ecosystem

In the 2019 edition of New Horizons, we explore how the health sector can begin executing on a new vision of a connected health ecosystem.

Last year we focused on the duality of growth: the challenge of strengthening today’s core business while preparing to meet the challenges of an increasingly more connected, consumer-centric health ecosystem. While that dynamic is a perennial consideration, we are shifting the conversation a bit this year. Our discussions with clients have evolved from reimagining the health ecosystem and their place in that future. Attention, instead, has moved to the how best to build that future — to executing on that vision.

The most common theme of these conversations is connection. Connecting people to the goods and services that will keep them well; to physicians when they need clinical intervention; and to each other, so that they stay engaged as they age. A key focus, too, is connecting health businesses so a more complete picture of the consumer can be seen, and the optimal, personalized care can be delivered. This year’s theme, then, is moving past reimagining to building — building for what comes next, after and beyond.

We are delighted to present you with four articles that build on this theme — connections — as well as a few captivating interviews that demonstrate how that vision is being put into practice in the market today.

Our first article deals with the promise digital technologies offer our sector and how to usefully embed them into core business operations. Using survey data gathered from several countries, we lay out consumer and physician expectations for a digitally enabled, connected health ecosystem. Although we have found a gap between those expectations and implementation to date, in the article we outline several considerations to keep in mind when building digital health capabilities that will close this gap.

In our second article we consider how to create a path from between the present, fee-for-service state to a future centered on value — one that equips providers to improve outcomes for patients at a lower cost, while reducing the risks for payers. We discuss how focusing on the patient experience can be the bridge to building a culture that embraces value-based care (VBC). By including patient and physician experiences in the VBC equation, health organizations provide better care, increase the satisfaction of their employees and keep people engaged with their health. This reduces the chance that patients will slip out of the network, thereby improving revenue and providing access to the data health organizations need to improve operational efficiency and population health.

We next turn our attention to the world of private equity (PE), which continues to demonstrate a keen interest in the health sector. We again use data gathered by EY to examine the impact PE firms are having on the sector. Notably, health businesses achieve the best outcomes when they partner with firms that have sector experience. Overall, we find these partnerships help with the business of today and the business of tomorrow. Health companies obtain ready access to capital so they may build the capabilities needed to compete in the evolving health ecosystem. And, they can also draw on PE firms’ operational expertise to improve efficiency and focus today.

In our final article, we again raise the issue that health incumbents have long acknowledged: clinical care is only a small contributor to health and well-being. The health sector is becoming more consumer-centric, participatory, outcomes-based and cost-efficient. And the technologies that will get us to a connected, wellness-oriented, anytime, anywhere health ecosystem are available today. Using those tools requires an information technology infrastructure that is built around data persistence, extensibility and true interoperability. It is an essential first step to implementing the amazing technologies at our disposal, such as intelligent automation, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and integrated enterprise resource and clinical operations management.

To view the complete New Horizons report, click here.

Source: https://go.ey.com/2NqXsLq