A Three-part Blog Series from EdjAnalytics
By Susan Olson, PhD (EdjAnalytics COO)
The HLTH convergence in Vegas provided an epic journey through the leading edge of the healthcare front. From social determinants to a new wave of primary care to -omics, the stark reality of the breadth of healthcare, and both its problems and solutions, were on display. One of the great benefits of the price of admission is sharing some of the conference experiences and thoughts inspired by those experiences. In a three part blog series inspired by HLTH, Edj shares perspectives on unconventional participants in healthcare, actions to improve social determinants, and tech and new primary care models.
Most Unexpected Speaker: Mark Cuban
Cuban described how he was creating companies to disrupt the cost of drugs. Where certain drug companies have tried to monopolize the market by buying up competitors in the generic market and escalating prices, Cuban described starting a company to manufacture generics and creating a Costco-esque buyers’ club where consumers can access these drugs at near cost.
Why is Cuban investing his money and time in the health care industry? 1) He described that he thinks America has been misled to believe that the number of people who are insured is the same as a metric of wellness. 2) He believes that insurance is going to use its dollar for shareholders not for wellness. 3) He sees some healthcare institutions run like the monoliths in the 1950s and 60s. He described room for efficiencies and profitability via new business ventures in healthcare.
Curiously, Cuban is proposing a new healthcare plan for America, which he is vetting with bi-partisan members of Congress. The crux of the plan is elimination of insurance and using the U.S. government as the underwriter of healthcare costs. His plan would place a threshold on the percent of income any American would pay based on their take-home pay. He’s using a DC consulting firm to run out the numbers over a ten year horizon. Look for the plan coming soon on Cuban’s website.
Is a political run in Cuban’s future? He didn’t deny it. “There are different ways to challenge authority,” Cuban said. He’s also into AI and spoke of his recent dive into federated learning.
Most Used Phrase: “Meeting people where they are.”
A definite theme of the conference, several health systems disparaged the use of the word “non-compliant” with regards to patients and discussed instead barriers to health or wellness.
In a session about alleviating healthcare’s administrative burden, Dr. Marjika Gray from Catholic Health Initiatives said that she was tired of hearing that doctors don’t like tech. “Physicians love tech,” she said. The problem with healthcare tech she said was that, “… the tech we have at home works … the tech we have in the office doesn’t.”
Notable Fun Fact
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology owns the economic value of Bose, the audio company that is now venturing into the hearing aid space. The arrangement was setup by Dr. Bose himself to insulate the company from phenomena like the quarterly gyrations of analyst calls.