Providers · 17 Feb 2020 0

How much lip service can we take?

As a longtime healthcare administrator, from managing 28 safety net clinics across CA and TX, to 14 hospitals, over 50 skilled nursing facilities, and 1 national health plan, I’ve seen the inner workings of our ‘systems’ and have a burning passion to contribute to as many solutions as possible.

Healthcare administration is tribal, disjointed, and woven with counterproductive (many times perverse) incentives which go beyond what any ‘tech’ innovation can address. It bothers me when I see nice (undoubtedly creative and expensive) posts and advertisements alleging ‘integration’ and providing claims of having reached new heights while, as a chief officer, I’m sitting here faced with issues of barriers of access to care, onerous requirements for mental health services, and payers (health plans) not paying for preventive screenings unless one fights for these to be paid for.

To my point of ‘tribal knowledge’, had I not managed Humana markets from the payer-side, I would not be able to advocate on behalf of 100K patients we see in our system today.

Integration is a challenge beyond technology. It is painful to see ‘disruptors’ out of firms such as Snapchat and Nokia providing apps to healthcare providers (at incredibly high costs), vacuuming millions of investment dollars, only to cause more issues than solutions. I’ve seen this time and time again.

Until such time payers pay for preventive and integrative care (not just on the med/surg side but within the mental health and substance abuse verticals), zero amount of technological innovations and glorified health technology startups will move the needle in any meaningful, responsible, and effective form.