Measuring the Wrong Things the Wrong Way in Health Care

HBR has done it again, September’s issue does not disappoint!   One article in particular is near and dear to my heart and to the heart of many of my clients, How to Solve the Cost Crisis in Health Care.  Michael Porter and Robert Kaplan do a brilliant job in demystifying the myths about what really lies behind this crisis.  They do not merely tackle the root causes, they also provide actionable advice on how to address the problems; advice that will simultaneously lower costs and improve patient outcomes.

A primary focus for Health Care broadly has been on maximizing reimbursement versus understanding and measuring the real costs of delivering that care and the impact it has on patient outcomes.  Heath Care may be the only industry that does not focus on measuring cost of delivery and outcomes at the customer level (aka the patient).  There are in fact innovative technology solutions today that do measure some pieces of the puzzle but their true value and potential has not yet been exercised and/or recognized.

While what Porter and Kaplan are proposing is clearly a win-win for businesses and patients it is complicated and it will take time to solve, but it is far from rocket science.  In fact the proposed solution itself is fairly straight forward, the complexity lies in cultivating the mentality of the industry and turning the current specialized business model on its head.   So many of today’s inefficiencies are as a result of a Health Care industry designed around medical specialty versus the medical condition of patients.

A pessimist might read their article and argue “you get what you pay for”, while an optimist might dream about a world where optimal patient experience and profitability converge. I am a “possiblist” and find myself crafting actionable ideas on how to bring this forward, the possibilities are endless!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to friend