On Tuesday, 9 July 2012, health industry stakeholders are convening in Philadelphia for the first CONVERGE conference, seeking to ignite conversation across siloed organizations to solve seemingly intractable problems in health care, together.

Why “converge?” Because suppliers, providers, payers, health plans, and consumers have been fragmented for far too long based on arcane incentives that cause the U.S. health system to be stuck in a Rube Goldbergian knot of inefficiency, ineffectiveness and fragmentation of access….not to mention cost increases leading us to devote nearly one-fifth of national GDP on health care at a cost of nearly $3 trillion…and going up.

The good news: pioneering health care stakeholders have begun to collaborate on a broad range of projects that are bringing together once quite separate organizations in order to address the Triple Aim of Care, Health and Cost. These innovators are working to solve tough challenges in health care that, alone, are unsolveable.

Many forces are aligning to support once distant suppliers, providers, plans, researchers and consumers in collaborating to improve the quality of health, expand access, and lower costs for individuals and society-at-large. These factors include:

  • Cloud computing
  • The ability to corral and analyze #bigdata to improve clinical workflow and anticipate patients’ health care needs in advance of complications (say, to prevent hospital readmissions)
  • Demand for greater transparency from health providers, health plans, suppliers (e.g., life sciences/pharma and medical device companies) on quality, risks, access and price
  • The move from volume- to value-based health financing
  • Consumer demand for greater involvement and empowerment in health care, motivated by higher out-of-pocket costs and an overall migration to DIY lifestyles in many aspects of personal life, among other factors.
To be a good corporate collaborator in health will require developing new muscles: success won’t be based much on the technology, which is largely in place to enable working together. Instead, it will be human factors like trust, being authentic, and rationing corporate lawyers’ hunger for risk-managing at the fine-tooth-comb level. Getting to Kumbayah in health care collaborating will be slowed based on these issues, and not due to some of the other favorite blame-game topics of data privacy and sharing (which is not trivial but addressable through sound policies and procedures) among others.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:
I am pleased to moderate a session at CONVERGE titled, Online Collaboration: Where Is The Puck Going? My partners on the panel are Dr. David Delaney, Chief Medical Officer of SAP America; Dr. Harry Greenspun, Senior Advisor at Deloitte Center for Health Solutions (@harrygreenspun); and, Joel Selzer, CEO and Co-Founder of Ozmosis. Together, we’ll brainstorm all aspects of ‘the puck’ of collaboration: what’s worked thus far, what we’ve learned, what’s holding us back from getting to “yes” in health care collaborations. And as a health care forecaster, I’m also keen to crowdsource our opinion not only on ‘where’ collaboration is going, but how fast we’re moving there toward a tipping point beyond the initial pioneering phase. Stay tuned to tweets at hashtag #ConvergeConf to learn in real-time as we do during the CONVERGE 2012 conference.

6 Comments on Converging for health care: how collaborating is breaking down silos to achieve the Triple Aim

Political Will Is Part of the Prescription for Healthcare Access – Tithe Guerrero's Blog said : Guest Report 5 years ago

[…] & Strategy in Bilbao, Spain, and contributed to the report, notes, “you cannot meet the ‘Triple Aim’ without a good primary care set […]

HealthPopuli.com said : Guest Report 5 years ago

[…] & Strategy in Bilbao, Spain, and contributed to the report, notes, “you cannot meet the ‘Triple Aim’ without a good primary care set […]

Paul said : Guest Report 11 years ago

Bill Only a fool thinks we have the best healthcare system in the world. If we did, there would be no reason to have this conference. Are single payer advocates, like Dr Marcia Angell being invited to this conference? If they are not, this is the reason we will continue to have a dysfunctional health care system.

Bill said : Guest Report 11 years ago

Hey, I've got an idea--it's called CASH. Another idea--- "Fee for Service" These 2 ideas work and have since the dawn of civilization. All your triple epithets and big data massage will do nothing but complicate, cost, and eventually corrupt the best healthcare system in the world.

Bob Herdzina said : Guest Report 11 years ago

In my estimation, as an independent sales representative of high tech medical equipment, a large portion of the problems being faced today are as follows. The industry, at the acute care level have implemented groups that charge a fee for all sales people to gain access to the facilities. This alone establishes a huge financial burder on all sales people. Couple that with the trend to buy from GPO's, giving the bulk of decision making to the purchasing department (for compliance) and taking the medical professional out of the decision making process to a large degree and you now have a system that is broken. It no longer allows for the medical professional to purchase equipment that is efficacious and shown to be so through evidence based medicine. Put the power back in the hands of the department heads so that informed decisions can once again be made independent of the GPO's. Do away with the Reptrax group. Start impacting patients in a positive fashion with follow-up at the home care level by trained professionals and watch the cost of readmittances dwindle exponentially.

Sprig Health said : Guest Report 11 years ago

Jane, We think you hit the nail on the head when you state that collaboration will be key and human factors like trust, being authentic, and rationing corporate lawyers' lust for risk-managing will slow down the progress. Another key to creating change in the health care industry is to promote innovation within the industry. Having more certainty with the direction health care is going combined with smart regulations of emerging health care innovators will be key in promoting innovation. It's all about changing the structures, systems, and incentives to ensure better, more affordable care. The Sprig Health Team

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