Revolution Health CEO: 'We need to get the system out of the way'
ORLANDO, Fla., May 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Internet visionary turned e-health entrepreneur Steve Case predicts that converging trends in public policy, technology and consumerism in health care will combine to effectively "shake the snow globe," simultaneously creating disruption and opportunity, and leading to a revolution in American health care.
The America Online co-founder, who now serves as chairman and CEO of Revolution Health, says in-part that consumers need to overcome security paranoia -- as they did in online financial transactions.
"Consumers must be in control of the electronic health record, as there is far too much focus on 'who possesses the electronic storage cabinet,'" Case said, adding that in addition to trusting the technology, consumers must also preserve trusted relationships. "One of the most sacred relationships is between physicians and patients. We need to get 'the system' out of the way."
Case delivered his comments in a keynote address to hundreds of attendees at Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) 2008 Drug Trend "Predictions" Symposium.
Drawing comparisons between the skeptics of wired health care today and those who downplayed the development of the Internet in the mid 1980s, Case argued that once a secure, ubiquitous system is in place, patients and payors alike will be drawn to the financial efficiencies and clinical benefits of connected care.
"The conventional wisdom 15-20 years ago was that consumers wouldn't want interactivity, and most people didn't believe in eCommerce, because they didn't think anyone would want to share their credit card information," said Case. "Turns out the key to uptake was interactivity and convenience; not only did consumers share their credit card information, but they even allowed companies to store that information online and advise them on purchases based upon their personal purchasing habits."
Similarly, Case says empowering and engaging health care consumers to more actively manage their own care is key to accelerating what has been to date the painfully slow adoption of technology across health care.
"It's crazy to think that consumers have exceptional tools to manage their financial portfolios and fantasy football teams, but lack valuable tools to effectively manage their health care," said Case. "We need to get consumers much more engaged to be successful."
Case called for a user-friendly platform on which systems can operate
across the health care spectrum, which will in turn stimulate innovation
and launch a sweeping systemic change.
Case offered the following additional observations and assessments:
-- On consumer engagement: "The health care system is really disease
care, and is not much of a system. We need to move from a static
situation -- when the patient has a problem -- to a more engaging
application that will bring them back to online health resources more
-- On web-based disease communities: "The community aspects of disease
management present a huge untapped opportunity that has been sorely
underdeveloped. Simply look at the success of Alcoholics Anonymous:
the single greatest way to drive compliance is to create a
community-based structure in which patients can communicate, support
one another, and be accountable."
-- On physician adoption of health care information technology:
"Providing incentives will encourage adoption of health care
information technology among physicians and other providers, but there
are larger generational implications at play, with a natural embrace of
technology by physicians who grew up on technology."
Case has taken a highly public position in advocating for increasing access to health care information for consumers as a means to improve care and lower costs. In 2005, Case was joined by other influential leaders including General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) in launching Revolution Health Group, a business venture to transform how people approach their overall health and wellness.
Medco Health Solutions, Inc., (NYSE: MHS) is the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager based on its 2007 total net revenues of more than $44 billion. Medco's prescription drug benefit programs, covering approximately one-in-five Americans, are designed to drive down the cost of pharmacy health care for private and public employers, health plans, labor unions and government agencies of all sizes, and for individuals served by the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program and those served by its specialty pharmacy segment, Accredo Health Group. Medco, the world's most advanced pharmacy(TM), is positioned to serve the unique needs of patients with chronic and complex conditions through its Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers(R), including its enhanced diabetes pharmacy care practice through the Liberty acquisition. Medco is the highest-ranked independent pharmacy benefit manager on the 2008 Fortune 100 list. On the Net: http://www.medco.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
|SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.|
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