I recently attended a great health care industry “futures” conference, a chance to get the pulse of the industry through discussion with key thought leaders. Despite all the noise around ACA, “repeal and replace”, “skinny repeal”, etc., there were two take-aways that reinforced what I’ve already been feeling.
The first is the need for much better, much deeper, much more transparent payer and provider collaboration. Call this “joining the dark side”, coopetition, etc. – the demands of new health care consumers and their surrogates will demand more seamless collaboration. Collaboration is a vague, over used phrase; in my estimation, both those paying for and financing care (purchasers and their payer representatives; often health insurers) and those delivering and (increasingly – see high deductibles and higher co-pays) financing care (providers) must be more willing to work together to solve problems. This requires compromise, and a long-view. One of my favorite sayings is, “Pigs go to feed, hogs go to slaughter”; we have too many hogs and not enough pigs.