There is a serious problem with today’s $2.8 trillion healthcare system. From surging pharmaceutical prices to excess spending on unnecessary administrative procedures, the current healthcare system that accounts for over 350 million Americans is flawed and needs serious renovation, according to PharmaVoice.
But there is hope that we can fix our dysfunctional system. PwC analysts are terming this model the “New Health Economy”.
In this new value-based model, the attention is directed at the individual patient rather than at the masses. It is a system that will empower consumers, integrate technological advances and stand to serve the rising demand of an aging population. It also represents the most pronounced adaptation of the U.S. health system since the 1930s, when employers started covering their employees' health insurance.
This is far from the first model to propose a system that focuses on value rather than volume. Historically when propositions of this nature have been presented, the financial backing was, more or less, piddling. The New Health Economy, however, has the financial support to make the major shift and they are ready to move forward.
The new shift will allow purchasers of health insurance — government, employers, and individuals — the freedom to make direct payments to entities providing the best health services.
Rather than the current model which flows from the federal government and employers through third-party payers, patients will be able to go straight to the source whether it’s a clinical institution or a nutrition website.
The New Health Economy will prevent government agencies, pharma companies and third party affiliates from insulating consumers from true costs and provide greater transparency. Patients will become official consumers and will be able to choose how they want to spend their money. Many have stated that they would rather spend their money on new technological advancements, such as virtual reality therapy, than on medication that costs an arm and a leg.
Although we are witnessing a revolutionary technology shift with countless medical breakthroughs, the United States continues to report mixed results in patient outcomes. The New Health Economy is a model that understands this paradigm of rapidly advancing technology and it plans to fully integrate it into the new model. Gil Van Bokkelen, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Athersys said:
“Emerging technologies such as regenerative medicine, gene therapy, and novel healthcare informatics platforms have the potential to transform the way we treat medical conditions that are severely debilitating, expensive to deal with and that dramatically affect patient quality of life and independence,” he says. “These include things like stroke, heart disease, serious inflammatory conditions, and other diseases where traditional medical approaches have not been able to provide effective solutions.”
As the population continues to age, more and more individuals in our society are going to need healthcare services. The new population of aging patients, however, is not well-equipped to handle the modalities seen in the traditional system. The New Health Economy seeks to redefine patient care and will provide services that will parallel the standards of the future.
Aptly named, Enclothed Cognition is the official Medelita blog for medical professionals interested in topics relevant to a discerning and inquisitive audience. Medelita was founded by a licensed clinician who felt strongly about the connection between focus, poise and appearance.