World Health Care Congress 2010 Notes (#WHCC10)

For the third year, I’ve been able to come to the WHCC big spring event in DC. I would say this is one of the best conferences in terms of total attendance, level of speakers, and level of attendees.

Between recovering from vacation, work (no…the blog doesn’t pay the bills), and interviewing people, I only made it to a few sessions. My notes from them are here.

Kathleen Sebelius (Secretary of Health and Human Services) talked about:

  • Reform is not a gov’t takeover but providing an operating framework (paraphrased).
  • Some of the immediate changes – no more pre-existing conditions. Moving coverage of dependants to age 26.
  • Medicare spends over $1B per day.
  • Preventative care incentives…great example on comparing the costs of amputation for a diabetic versus the costs of preventing it. (want to run this model in more detail later)
  • There are $56B in uncompensated healthcare costs (to hospitals) which leads to $1,000 in insurance premiums for all of us that are covered.
  • She quoted someone saying that healthcare costs are the tapeworm that is eating into American competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Dr. Mehmood Khan (SVP, Pepsi) talked about:

  • How a food company can contribute to the health discussion and change in health (e.g., taking full calorie sodas out of the schools).
  • The research and work they do internally.
  • The fact that we are now seeing both overfeeding and under-nurishment co-existing in the same geography.

Andy Webber (CEO, National Business Coalition on Health) talked about:

  • Challenges that employers see:
    • Improving health
    • Transforming the delivery system to focus on outcomes
    • Controlling expenditures
  • The healthcare delivery system is a small input into the overall outcomes. He says that jobs and income are the #1 driver in determining outcomes. [Good for pitching a focus on economic growth, but I don’t buy it.]
  • Improving population health is a team sport focused on the local level.

Dr. Reed Tuckson (EVP, UHG) talked about:

  • Chronic disease is a tsunami to our delivery system.
  • We need to understand what is killing people locally and how to solve it.

Nathan Estruth (VP/GM of FutureWorks at P&G) talked about:

  • The innovation strategy at P&G (see detailed paper here)
  • The Connect & Develop strategy they use where P&G brings the consumer to the table.
  • Some of their investments including MDVIP and Navigenics.
  • The power of “and” (try to find solutions that do A and B not just optimizing around one component)
  • I think the most telling message was that they clearly did not subscribe to the “Not Invented Here” innovation challenge that many companies do. He said they focus on >50% of their innovation coming from outside the company.

Roy Schoenberg (CEO of American Well) talked about:

  • The issues around healthcare in the US – access, MD income, PCP shortage, specialty care access, ER abuse, and systems agility.
  • Work they are doing with pharmacies, payers, OptumHealth, Ascension (hospital), and the military.
  • A very interesting point about retired MDs coming back into the system since they can work on their schedule and without having to have an office.
  • Another cool point about the ability to coordinate visit between a PCP and a specialist. They also enable easier referrals. (I think this could be game changing.)
  • They can also project care where needed – e.g., Haiti.

General Observations:

  • Lots of talk about creating a culture of health and innovation.
  • Lots of talk about wellness.
  • Most of the people I talked to from the wellness companies were very skeptical of incentives.
  • Lots of people trying new things and trying to innovate.

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