Changing Behavior and Changing Policies Panel (Part 3)

Listen here, or download the 16 MB mp3 file.

Two megatrends are locking in: Massive incentive change and information liberation, says Todd Park, CTO of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The federal programs must lead the way in changing from fee-for-service to incentives for value in healthcare.

Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veteran’s Administration represent the largest repository of public health data in the world. More information about the public health, stripped of personal identification, is being made available so that innovators can use it to learn more about public health, and create health-maximizing options. Private insurers adopt the same pay structure as the federal programs, therefore, HHS must be the one to initiate more efficient means of delivering, and charging for, health value.

Park identifies three parts to data liberation in the health care industry: 1) Patient data liquidity—including making records available to the patients themselves; 2) market transparency—listing benefits and pricing of every public and private insurance plan available in the U.S. through; and 3) a health data initiative to let people know what data is available on the population at large, and releasing it for anyone’s use. Some private innovations from this data release include Asthmapolis, which helps people control their asthma, and iTriage.

Coordination of service, identification of gaps, methods of efficiency developed in industries outside of health care need to be brought in to rework the healthcare industry, according to Park.

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  • As someone who uses her own health records, as well as tracking overall wellbeing in certain groups, I couldn’t agree more. Although privacy concerns are valid, it seems reasonable that we could have an opt-out rather than opt-in system, since the benefits would outweigh the risks by a huge margin.

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