From the Blog

It’s all About People and Their Families

We recently partnered with a local health care-focused hub on a blog series about how our industry’s transforming. Here’s the latest from Cambia Grove’s Executive Director Nicole Bell. 

Henry Albrecht and Cambia Grove’s Tiny, our Sasquatch-in-Residence, both blogged recently about the great potential benefits for better health and better outcomes for people if our industry were to focus on effectively harnessing the best of emerging technologies and applying a consumer retail experience mindset.

It’s so unfortunate that consumerism in health care continues to be a misnomer, but I have great hope, as should you, that the emerging care and service models being tested right here in our backyards can help our industry transform in a shorter timeframe than the jaded deep domain experts of the health care industry will expect.

Here are a few pieces of the health care continuum being tested locally, in response to some of the market forces Henry alluded to in the last part of his post:

When you get sick, you will get your options laid out for you – without asking.

The dream of easily being able to assess all your care options when you or your loved one is sick is no longer just a dream. This is a public sector success story! Washington state recently became the first state in the nation to formally review, certify and advocate the use of high-quality patient decision aids as part of an effort to adopt and spread shared decision making as an innovative and evidence-based practice. Our Health Care Authority began accepting patient decision aids for certification in spring 2016, and in August certified four patient decision aids focused on maternity care.  Read more about that here. I am so glad that doing right by patients is taking hold, and that when people are at a point in life where they have just heard the very worst news about their health they will have tools and resources available without having to ask (or rely upon the internet).

Before you get sick, you will know your care team, and they you.

Providers that take pride in knowing you, your family and all your collective issues will soon become table stakes. Direct Primary Care (“DPC”) espouses a transparent flat monthly fee in exchange for comprehensive and engaging primary care relationships and services. The simple concept postulates logically that such care will eliminate costly and often inappropriate testing, referrals, and treatment courses; over a lifetime, this will keep people out of the ER and hospital except for true emergencies. In Cascadia, great brands like IORA Health, Qliance, Landmark Health, Vera Whole Health, Paladina Health and others are serving a growing percentage of our population each day. As a matter of fact, I think Henry’s entire list of criteria for providers is met by the offices of Wise Patient Internal Medicine up on Capitol Hill.

Getting the care you need will be easy.

“Convenient care” is an expression for the services and technologies that support people receiving care on their terms and turf.  In Seattle, you can just walk into Multicare’s Indigo, One Medical, or ZOOM+Care, have a telemedicine visit from Carena, or–if the idea of seeing a physician for something that should be routine unnerves you—soon you’ll be able to leverage AI for primary care with 98point6.  Most of these businesses are funded by VC because their value propositions are so compelling.

Ask yourself, how would it feel to never need care?

Local companies like Limeade, Accolade, HealthSparq, EveryMove and Arivale, in their own ways, are all working hard to keep you healthy and well, and are beginning to chip away at the patient/consumer engagement nut that has been so difficult to crack—previously challenging because economic incentives to support their work weren’t there, technology advancements had to hit a certain tipping point for broad adoption, and well, because change is hard for us (humans and Sasquatches alike). The promise of staying very healthy into old age has advanced materially towards reality recently due to big data analytics, precision medicine, availability of cloud services, and genome and other testing whose costs are now within reach for everyday people.

While I am not sure how this all knits together just yet, and while I wish this all moved a bit faster, I am heartened by these success stories of increasingly larger transformation ambitions coming to a place near you.

Nicole Bell is the founder & Executive Director of the Cambia Grove, a health care-focused hub where the Cascadia region’s innovators can convene and catalyze the development of tomorrow’s health care solutions. Connect with Nicole & the Cambia Grove team on Twitter and LinkedIn.

cambia 300x150 - It's all About People and Their Families