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The McKinsey Quarterly: IT remedies for US health care: An interview with WellPoint's Leonard Schaeffer

Posted Nov 18 2008 12:14am

The McKinsey Quarterly: IT remedies for US health care: An interview with WellPoint's Leonard Schaeffer: "I believe that smart third parties from outside the industry will take away a lot of the IT stuff from health insurers, hospitals, and doctors—and will do a better job of it. Some clever people will pull the pieces together and have it all make sense. You know, Amazon's business model isn't brilliant, but its service is exceptional. My wife likes Amazon because it's easy and it speaks to her. It tells her about new books and greets her by name. Why isn't there a medical system that says, 'Hello, Mr. Schaeffer'? We need the opposite of 'You've got high blood pressure; lose 30 pounds.' That just isn't very friendly or persuasive. There must be some way to say,'We understand your problem. We want to help you. How can we do so?' The models will change; there will be new opportunities in wellness and preventive care for us and the other players. The challenge for current health care providers is to get there before an outside third party does.

It's the same for all of the administrative stuff: someone smart will come in with better processes. For example, 'one-write' systems—take the patient's name once and never ask for it again. Every time I go to the doctor, I have to write down everything all over again and again."

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