The Real (Invisible) Cost of Healthcare
Nearly half of US adults struggle to afford healthcare costs, including those with insurance coverage. Despite its reputation as one of the more advanced nations, the US ranks last on a global list of countries scored on things like citizen access to care, administrative efficiency, equity, and healthcare outcomes. The risk of high medical debt keeps many Americans from seeking care when they need it. What’s more, research shows that the Black and Hispanic communities are those most affected by increasing prices, which often rise faster than the cost of living.
The Keys to Equalizing Access
A 2021 study identified four key features that stand between the US healthcare system and those that empower more equal access:
- The removal of cost barriers
- Investment in primary care systems that deliver high-value services to all communities
- The reduction of administrative burdens that divert focus from system improvement
- Investment in social service options
The good news is that such steps are already being taken in cities across the nation through the power of healthcare accelerators. By bridging the worlds of healthcare and entrepreneurship, these unique organizations drive innovation that results in creative, interdisciplinary solutions to some of the biggest challenges in modern medicine; innovation that will prove key to moving America’s healthcare system forward toward equal access to quality care.
Connecting Tech, Commerce, and Healthcare: A Way Forward
In many US states, healthcare systems lag behind in innovation. This is due to several factors, including:
- Lack of a demand-driven approach
- Lack of resources to identify improvements through the eyes of the patients themselves
- Inability to develop solutions with the greatest impact on cost, quality and health outcomes
- Lack of focus on areas that limit rapid innovation, such as precision medicine, genetics, trauma/emergency medicine, case management, patient care, orthopedics, obesity and rural access to care through telehealth
- Inability to leverage technology and the innovation ecosystem with private entities so ideas can be expert-validated locally and globally
- No real sustainable value-based model to accelerate innovation toward the way care is delivered, use of information, predictive analytics that could limit cost, single consolidated ecosystem with interconnectivity of platforms and avenues to keep patients engaged
Targeted Innovation: Streamlining the Creative Problem-Solving Cycle
Essentially, the innovation and healthcare ecosystems operate in their own silo’s. They exist entirely independent of one another, yet much of their work carries strong potential for solutions-driven impact. In fact, successful partnerships modeled in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and other major US cities clearly show the exponential collaborative possibilities of such ventures.
Innovation hubs connect the rich knowledge capital of medical providers/patients with the accelerator/start-up approach to identify areas of mutual benefit. These hubs or “think tanks” put into practice years of insights gained from entrepreneurial culture – aspects such as how to craft and deliver a pitch – to develop end-user focused ideas into profitable business solutions. They also connect the nation’s top creative minds with vast networks of successful market leaders who can provide valuable mentorship and help garner essential capital for the most promising health-tech start-ups, like Michigan-based Plum Health, MedKairos, and more.
In order to meet the tomorrow’s biggest healthcare challenges, we must focus today’s innovative resources on developing new enterprise in the area of health and medicine. By connecting providers/patients who can identify key challenges with those most knowledgeable in global tech, current market trends, and the start-up ecosystem – including how to scale solutions effectively – we will surely find the visionary, effective solutions we seek, supporting targeted innovation that fuels more advanced, high-value, equal-access care.
Find more outside-the-box ideas for building forward momentum at TelKGanesan.com.
Americans’ Challenges with Healthcare Costs
Why Healthcare Costs Are Rising in the US More Than Anywhere Else
Mirror, Mirror 2021: Reflecting Poorly – Healthcare in the US Compared to Other High-Income Countries