Skip to main content

This May Hurt A Little Bit: Entrepreneurs Can Fix Health Care

Washington Business Journal WBJ BizBeat:  "Former Kaiser CEO:  Entrepreneurs can fix health care."
"Entrepreneurs — not the government and surely not established industry players — will be the ones who ultimately fix the deeply flawed American health care system, said Dr. David Lawrence, the retired CEO of Kaiser Permanente."
“The problem with incumbent medical care systems is, they don’t change,” Lawrence said. “What they tend to do is capture the innovation, the entrepreneurial activity, and either slow it or they transform it to what their needs will be, and they often bastardize what are very, very important innovations.”

Lawrence predicted pain as the system evolves.
“To do these well is going to require disrupting traditional medical relationships with patients, it’s going to require disrupting sources of income for the traditional medical care system, and it’s going to require disrupting the relationship of the consumer to the medical care system," he said.
Lawrence's six areas of entrepreneurial opportunity:  triage, navigation, chronic illness, preventative health care, wellness management and end-of-life care.

The re-making of health care has already begun. Hospital executives, at least those with the slightest curiosity, should be terrified by the energetic entrepreneurs focused on the idea that many (most?) hospital admissions are properly viewed as defects somewhere else in the system.

Fix the defects...cut off admissions...add costs...keep the value.  Repay VC funders.  Repeat. 

Many successful business plans have been built on less.


Popular posts from this blog

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

My Take On Anthem-Cigna, Big Dumb Companies and the Executives Who Run Them

After last Friday's Appeals Court decision, Anthem's hostile takeover of, er, merger with Cigna has but a faint pulse. Good. Unplug the respirator. Cigna's figured it out but Anthem is like that late-late horror show where the corpse refuses to die. Meanwhile, 150 McKinsey consultants are on standby for post-merger "integration" support. I guess "no deal, no paycheck..." is powerfully motivating to keep the patient alive a while longer.

In court, Anthem argued that assembling a $54 billion behemoth is a necessary precondition to sparking all manner of wondrous innovations and delivering $2.4 billion in efficiencies. The basic argument appears to be "We need to double in size to grow a brain. And just imagine all those savings translating directly into lower premiums for employers and consumers." 

Stop. Read that paragraph again. Ignore the dubious "lower premiums" argument and focus on the deal's savings.

$2.4 billion saved from a p…

Another Day, Another App, Another Satisfied Customer

How might health care providers use technology to turn customers' mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices? A few years ago, the NY Times outlined how retailers are doing it...
"(Designer Norma) Kamali is at the forefront of a technological transformation coming to many of the nation’s retailers. They are determined to strengthen the link between their physical stores and the Web, and to use technology to make shopping easier for consumers and more lucrative for themselves.

Cisco Systems, the supplier of networking equipment and services for the Internet, is also a leader in the field. The company’s Mobile Concierge system is capable of connecting customers’ smartphones to retailers’ wireless networks — so a shopper could type “Cheez Whiz” into a cellphone, then pinpoint its location in the store." Ms. Kamali's boutique installed a technology called ScanLife, "allowing people to scan bar codes on merchandise and obtain details about the…