Elkridge, MD, July 19, 2021 – In a series of recent letters to State Health Officials, the Centers...
Moving the Consumer to the Front-Line of Healthcare Decision-Making
No one is happy with how the American healthcare system works today–not providers, not payers and certainly not the patients that we all serve.
Over the last two decades, the cost of care has skyrocketed. No one in this health eco-system thinks we are providing better care then we have in the past. Indeed, there is evidence we are doing worse. Fortunately, over the past decade–successfully led by the federal government—providers, payers, patients and their advocates are entering a new age of how healthcare is fundamentally changed by the power of the modern internet.
Here at NewWave, our work with the federal government allows us to see that the important pieces necessary to achieve the potential of this moment have been put in place.
Despite an uneven evolution, the legislative and policy landscape is truly changing to promote data sharing. Law and policy are catching up to consumer reality. One example of this that has yet to realize its true potential is the 2016 21st Century Cures Act which mandated the creation of information blocking regulations. While we, along with everyone else, eagerly await the Office of the National Coordinator’s (ONC) final promulgation of the mandate, the Cures Act and the blocking provision envisions a world where patients really control access to their data.
Similarly, the emergence of consumer-friendly technology that has been broadly adopted and widely accepted by consumers over the past decade creates the world of possibility for a true consumer-centric healthcare system. We simply do not have to train every patient how to use their smartphones, nor create and distribute new hardware. Our computers and our data are in our pockets and the “office visit” no longer defines when and how we get care.
Importantly in this present moment of possibility, the movement away from fee-for-service towards a value and outcomes-based health system is well underway. And while such a system presents new challenges, the foundational infrastructure and cultural buy-in for defining and paying for value and positive health outcomes are here to stay.
Finally, there is emerging recognition that the value of care is really determined by the consumer – care that doesn’t align with the patient’s preferences is of little or no value. A culture of shared decision making will empower the consumer to be an equal partner in the care that they receive. As Americans continue to pay more and more for the care they receive they are also beginning to exhibit the behaviors of consumers in other markets – the days when a patient stayed with a provider or a plan by default are coming to an end. Health payers and providers that embrace this change will benefit the most from this phenomena as well.
Now is the time for all stakeholders to push the consumer to the front of the line of healthcare decision-making.
Of course, we only get the benefit of consumer-owned data sharing if we build in privacy and security from the beginning, NewWave understands this and builds in “Privacy by Design.” We’ve implemented API disclosure only when authorized by the consumer and we are implementing blockchain to provide objective assurance that when data is shared by MyCareAI that the authorization to do so was provided by the consumer.
Our vision of mobile tech healthcare is to create a home-base for consumer interactions with their professional and family caregivers that goes beyond mere sharing of data. Our consumer app platform can support more interactive experiences like virtual assistance to answer such questions as, “What is this going to cost me? How can I get the care I need with the least out of pocket expenses?”
At NewWave we are answering the questions: How do we make it easier for consumers to take more of the preventative advice of their providers? How do we leverage communication technology to not lose opportunities to improve care between appointments? How do we enable consumers to participate in clinical research that is meaningful to them?
NewWave is committed to being one of the leaders in this era of change. We recognize this is only the beginning of what is possible. We are determined to be part of the solution for the common good.