At AHIP, a Spirit of Optimism That Change is Within Reach

Katherine Schneider
M.D., M.Phil., FAAFP

Remember your first dance? It was awkward at first. Who leads when? What’s the tempo? And a little stepping on toes in the beginning was to be expected. Nonetheless, if you kept at it, everything came together and you were gliding around the room with the best of them. At the AHIP Institute in Salt Lake City this week, the participants were all beginning to master the art of dancing together, so to speak, and it made for a heartening and inspiring experience.

For myself and so many participants I spoke with, solving the puzzle of healthcare is no longer the seemingly impossible challenge it once was. This is not to say that it is a quick fix, or that most of the hard work is behind us. Nonetheless, we have turned a corner by reaching broad consensus on what needs to be done to make healthcare right, and that is very encouraging.

At AHIP, there was widespread agreement that the key to the future of healthcare is care management—focusing on the ‘C’ in accountable care by defining optimal care first, then building the business model and using the right technology platform to support it. The model makes sure the right stakeholders on the team get the right tools at the right time to do their jobs. The model also provides the foundation for synergy between plans and providers, not the redundancy that continues to drive up costs.

This solution for change is attainable today—we’ve been successfully using it at Medecision to drive innovation since 1989 to help our clients succeed—and we are excited that it has become part of the national conversation to bring about real and effective change in healthcare.

Time and again at the conference, in meeting rooms, hallways and after-hour discussions, I heard people say, “We’re not waiting for Washington.” If the mood of urgency and excitement at this week’s Institute could be reduced to one sentence, this is it.

Indeed, the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of all or part of the Affordable Care Act almost seemed like a moot point at this week’s Institute. Regardless of the Court’s decision, our company and other leaders in the private sector are making bold moves to liberate healthcare from outmoded habits to a new day of higher quality, lower cost care. We have the tools and the experience to make it happen. And now we are finally hearing the same music and bringing our unique strengths together as partners on the dance floor.

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