The Lynx Group

The Alliance for Innovation in Integrated Healthcare Provides New Forum for Stakeholders

June 2021, Vol 12, No 3

In recent years, the pace of innovation in healthcare has accelerated dramatically, ushering in new processes, therapies, technologies, and policies designed to increase efficiency, reduce waste, lower the cost of care, and improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients. However, along the way, stakeholders have encountered numerous obstacles that threaten to undermine the full potential of these advances. One of the most significant challenges is the fact that the development of innovation is frequently siloed, occurring within a specific subsector of the healthcare delivery ecosystem, with little consideration of the impact to other parts of the overall system.

The Alliance for Innovation in Integrated Healthcare (AIIH) was formed with the intent of breaking down these silos by providing a forum for all stakeholders, including providers, payers, pharma, investors, and suppliers, to engage in frank and transparent discussions to proactively address challenges currently plaguing the healthcare ecosystem. On October 11 and 12, 2021, the AIIH will hold its inaugural Summit & Educational Program at the New York Athletic Club, in New York, NY. Recently, several co-chairs of the upcoming conference discussed how some of the fundamental flaws in the current healthcare delivery system will be addressed during the conference.

Collaboration Has Been Lacking

“Most payers will say that they have the vast percentages of their networks in value-based arrangements, and yet value-based care is viewed as ineffective,” said Bill Frack, Chief Development Officer for Wellnecity. “Why? Because parties are not talking to each other, and they are not figuring out an integrated solution.”

Linde Finsrud Wilson, MBA, Founder of AIIH, said that the issues surrounding the expansion of outpatient care can be used to drive home the importance of collaboration among stakeholders. “When the idea of total hip replacements becoming an outpatient procedure was first discussed, 15 or 20 years ago, people expected it to take another century, but here we are today,” she said. “So, what do hospitals do with all those beds? Our hospitals, to some extent, are dinosaurs, at least in their current model. Within a value-based environment and given the significant shift to at-home diagnostics and outpatient care, we need to figure out a solution. The only way to do that is collaboratively.”

“It is a classic prisoner’s dilemma,” said Mr Frack. “The benefits of value-based collaboration are there, but neither the payer nor the provider wants to commit first for fear of being exploited by the other party. As a result, parties are not having extensive dialogues.”

Provocative Discussions Are Necessary

Ms Wilson said that attendees of the AIIH conference can expect to hear—and participate in—provocative conversations about how to take a fragmented system of care based on provider-centric models of organization to a more integrated, cost-effective system focused on the patient.

“This is a different kind of conference,” she said. “The objective is to create real dialogue around the most critical issues in healthcare with all players. These complex types of arrangements require true collaboration—not parallel development, that is largely surface driven, without really digging into our competing interests. That is what we want to accomplish.”

Erin Denholm, President of Clinical Operations at DispatchHealth, agreed. "We need to have truly provocative discussions if we are to transform healthcare. It is paramount that we are 100% focused on the patient and understand that they deserve more alignment across the continuum of their care. We must have an appetite for constant innovation and be open to creative partnerships that enable this moving forward."

Breaking Down Walls

“We all agree that today, the patient journey is an ugly baby,” said John Thomas, Principal, Healthcare Strategy and Solutions, Amazon Business. “No one likes it from end to end and the patients surely do not like it. We can optimize our individual portion of the journey, but it is not optimized overall, and no one would say, ‘This is a great experience and I want to go through this process again.’ As an industry, we own that.”

Mr Thomas went on to say that most organizations that are “luminaries” within their own domains of healthcare are nonetheless very insular in their point of view. “Although they try to understand what their customers, constituencies, and stakeholders are thinking about, they do not hear those conversations directly, and certainly not at the executive level. They are very insulated from that dialogue. And one of the value propositions that they are looking for from this conference is breaking down those walls to hear different perspectives, understand the problem and its dimensions, and then agree on how to approach it. Maybe there is not a win-win solution all the time, but perhaps there is a better, optimized solution working together,” he explained.

Mr Frack stressed the fact that the upcoming conference is only the beginning. “We’re not going to have the dialogue in one day and come up with the answers,” he said. These are complex conversations that need to take place over multiple years. But this conference can be the launching pad, if we can get a common agreement that we need to work together towards outcomes in some way, and then work toward finding the path.”

For more information on the conference, including details regarding the agenda, faculty, and registration, please visit AIIH-Online.org.

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