14 Jul Managing Health Care Requires Managing Health (as a supply chain)
Employers pay the lion’s share of health care costs and have the most to gain from an approach to health and wellness that both maximizes the productivity and happiness of their employees while saving them money. Employers are realizing that todays world if they want to manage healthcare costs, they have to manage health. This means taking on health care delivery, the byzantine networks, the insurance payment model, and well, the entire “process” of care.
For most corporations, intensely focusing on lean processes and system optimization comes naturally. They have to know their business, and even reach back into the various supply chains, to get a true handle of their own costs. For some reason, health care has been the one area of their business where their has been reluctance, and in some cases, almost a weird corporate taboo to really diving into health care costs, expenses, and care delivery. “Where there is mystery there is margin” has always been true – and health care is certainly no different. Taking ownership of health care cost requires that companies apply their same supply chain discipline to master the heretofore mystery of health care.
Crossover Health is the next-generation provider of employee healthcare. Our view is that corporations – our customers, after all – shouldn’t have to adjust their decision-making processes to accommodate healthcare’s imprecision. Instead, we take healthcare into their world. We treat health care like an actual product that employers sell directly to their employees. We optimize the health care supply chain.
To do that we take a total systems approach to how care is planned, delivered and managed. Like any well managed supply chain, it’s not about the lowest cost or the fastest speed. It’s about the most efficient way to delight the end user, which in our case is the employee. And it requires a comprehensive view of everything from benefits design and how we structure care teams, to the design of our health centers and how we integrate external suppliers such as specialists and hospitals.
Critics say that such rigorous approaches dehumanize care. It turns it into an impersonal process. We think a systems approach does precisely the opposite, by eliminating the redundancies, the needless waste, and misalignment of workflow; we can transition the patient experience and integrated technologies as not an incidental step in the process but rather the focus of our output. Our supply chain approach instead allows our team to concentrate on the relationship with the patient, through systems that automate much of the background noise of a normal appointment and technologies that extend the engagement well beyond the in-person visit. And by developing and managing the supply chain directly with the employer we bypass the middlemen. Employers and employees gain a greater voice in how health care should be delivered and a truly customized system that is optimized for their employees and organization.