This past June, leaders from health systems, outpatient services companies, health insurers, IT and equipment suppliers, health retailers, home care providers, pharmaceutical companies, and investors gathered in Chicago for the 10th CEO/Innovators Roundtable. While the Roundtable has grown in size since it began seven years ago, the spirit remains the same, with senior executives and thought-leaders engaging in lively discussions, provocative debates, and energetic question-and-answer sessions about how they are participating in the transformation of healthcare across the country.
This year’s Roundtable was organized around a central theme—Consumerism and Retail Healthcare—reflecting the large and growing role consumers are playing in healthcare today. As one participant remarked, healthcare is at a tipping point: “Patients” are becoming “consumers” of healthcare services, just as airline “passengers” became “customers” in the 1970s when airlines were deregulated. Yesterday’s patients were passive. Diagnostics and procedures were done to patients, who then waited for doctors or other providers to communicate their condition and map out a plan of action. Today’s consumers, on the other hand, are active. They choose health insurance based on premium contributions and plan designs, and, when given choices, they choose health services based on their perceptions of quality and service, relative to the price they’ll pay. Consumers’ growing role in the healthcare sector is accelerating the transformation toward value-based care.
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