From Cocoon to Butterfly: Transforming Health Care - in conversation with Kevin L. Hart
Like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, the health care industry in the U.S. is rapidly transforming into a new form and function. Its destination is an exceptionally efficient, cost-effective, technology-enabled system — one that puts patients at the center of care.
We’re in an ongoing conversation with Kevin Hart, a seasoned health care executive and transformation strategist, about his perspective on industry transformation.
Kevin, you have a distinct vision for the future of health care. One part of your vision is “care transformation.” Can you elaborate on the ideas behind this thinking and how you would implement this concept, moving forward?
“When we think about health care today, two words come to mind: absolute confusion. It’s like a spaghetti diagram, with different parts of the system — from primary to specialty care, insurance to pharmacy — all over the place. Patients are stuck with having to navigate through this hodgepodge to pilot their own care.
“From my perspective, transformation of care is simplification of care. Instead of the patient going out to receive care, care comes to the patient.
“To date, much of our struggle has been tied to our following a faulty economic model. In our fee-for-service system, hospitals get paid when beds are full. In the system of the future, it will be just the opposite. Providers will be paid for keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital — with patient wellness maintained through preventative care. Care will be affordable. Patients and providers alike will be more satisfied with the delivery system.
“The new model looks like this. Patients who need care will get care in the right venue at the right time, in the right way. Hospitals will be smaller, providing intensive care units only for people who are really sick. Patients discharged from intensive care will go to a step-down unit to stabilize. Then, they’ll go home and be cared for there. Patients who need ambulatory care — a visit with a primary care or specialist provider — will get that care either in their home or at a location convenient to them. Surgeries that once required a three- to four-day hospital stay will be done in one day at a health care facility in a convenient location, or at home. We do see a few systems that are already on this journey, and we can learn from their trailblazing.
“Technology will play a huge role in the new system, as patient health is followed remotely. Patients with multiple co-morbidities — hypertension, diabetes, and congestive heart failure, for instance — will be monitored in a noninvasive way, with interventions provided as needed so they don’t end up in an emergency room.
“The final frontier of the transformed health care system is predictive medicine and genomics. We’ll be able to look at patient DNA and create a personalized medical plan, determining the medicine or treatment that’s just right for each patient based on their genetic code. This will complete the vision of the future: patient-centered, whole-person care, focused on health and delivered consistently across the care continuum.”
Thank you for sharing, Kevin. Your vision is truly inspiring.
About Kevin L. Hart: A seasoned senior executive in the health care industry, Kevin Hart has devoted the next chapter of his career to helping transform the U.S. health care system. He is well regarded as a collaborative leader with a “big picture” vision and the ability to create and implement innovative strategies for the industry’s future.
Kevin L. Hart - Strategic Implementer
Strategic Implementer - Leading doesn't count if nobody follows