IBM on HC 2015 – Part II

I think the entry got too long.  I got a system error that made me think I should split this up.  So, continuing on my review of the IBM publication on the future of healthcare, here are some additional notes I took:

  • They envision the growth of a “health infomediary” that helps people navigate their benefits and options within the healthcare marketplace:
    • A “health coach” – expert in lifestyle and behavioral change
    • A “value coach” – expert in benefits, pricing options, and cost-quality tradeoffs
    • A “wealth coach” – expert in financial planning for health related needs
  • They say that health plans as well as physicians could step into this role (along with new players).
    • 80% say hospitals are “doing a good job”
    • 60% say health plans are “doing a bad job” [which may challenge them in some of these future roles]

“Today, healthcare delivery is overly focused on the episodic treatment of acute care.  However, the emphasis of the healthcare system will contine to expand from episodic acute care services to include prevention, chronic condition management and better care coordination.”


  • There is good discussion about the needed change in the healthcare system to be more focused on wellness and greater alignment of incentives.  They say “today, there is more variability at the point of contact with the consumer (that is, the point of care) than in virtually any other industry.”
  • If you read the report, figure 8 summaries the current state versus future state that they envision along numerous dimensions – sponsorship, competition, innovation, revenues, networks, etc.  The things that captured my eye were:
    • Competition being based on information access [and in my opinion…easy of use of these tools across multiple channels]
    • Competition being drives by targeted products and services [one of my favorite topics…microsegmentation]
    • A wellness ROI
    • Value-based reimbursement [which I am sure is much more than P4P]
  • They talk about the blending of product and service (i.e., the offering as I would call it).  This has been a topic in other industries for years.  [Look at the book Blur from 1999.]
  • They layout four different roles for health plans:
    1. Health / Wealth Service Advisors – personal health concierges
    2. Health Services Optimizers – guide individuals to wellness and through healthcare maze
    3. Applied Research Advisors – aggregate knowledge to help patients
    4. Transaction Processors – clearinghouse
  • I didn’t know that the top 6 healthplans cover 60% of all insured Americans while their are another 500 plans.
  • They go on to propose some questions and sample indicators of readiness for the new healthcare environment.  Here are a few indicators:
    • single view of the member across products and business partners
    • proactive contact center
    • real-time analytics regarding wellness calls
    • member loyalty
    • value-based arrangement with providers
    • consistent answers across multiple channels

Hopefully, this is a helpful summary and enough for you to read the document.  Is a quick 18 pages with good facts and realistic proposals for the future.

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