people listening to a panel

Event Recap: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Forum: Health Care Update

With the hot top­ic of health care and an envi­able pan­el made up of CEOs from Sum­mit Ortho­pe­dics, Fairview Health Ser­vices, Health­Part­ners and Med­ica, it’s no sur­prise the inau­gur­al Min­neapo­lis-St. Paul Busi­ness Jour­nal Forum: Health Care Update event was sold out. My col­league Michelle Cook and I attend­ed the event, held last week on a snowy morn­ing in down­town Min­neapo­lis, that includ­ed a live­ly pan­el dis­cus­sion, mod­er­at­ed by Min­neapo­lis-St. Paul Busi­ness Journal’s senior health reporter, Kathy Grayson, that focused on the biggest oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges fac­ing the indus­try local­ly and beyond in 2018. We always look for­ward to being a part of con­ver­sa­tions like these to help inform com­mu­ni­ca­tions strate­gies for our clients in the med­ical space, and this dis­cus­sion didn’t disappoint.

Pan­elists included:

*Kyle Rolf­ing, CEO of Bright Health, was sched­uled to par­tic­i­pate, but end­ed up unable to attend

Dur­ing the hour-long pan­el dis­cus­sion and 25-minute Q&A ses­sion, the health care lead­ers cov­ered a wide range of top­ics and didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but one thing they all agreed on: The focus of 2018 and beyond needs to be fig­ur­ing out how to bet­ter deliv­er qual­i­ty, afford­able health care in the most con­ve­nient way for the consumer/patient.

The chal­lenge isn’t any­thing new, it’s one that’s plagued the health care indus­try and its lead­ers for decades; how­ev­er, the pan­elists all men­tioned some of the new ways their orga­ni­za­tions and oth­ers are try­ing to address it.

The con­sumer­iza­tion of care

One of the main themes of the dis­cus­sion was the con­sumer­iza­tion of care, which will con­tin­ue to inform the way com­pa­nies inno­vate to meet the needs of their pop­u­la­tion, as well as how they com­mu­ni­cate to and engage with that pop­u­la­tion. All pan­elists agreed one of the most impact­ful ways that care can be improved is through the ongo­ing devel­op­ment of tele­phon­ic and dig­i­tal ser­vices to meet indi­vid­u­als where they are – whether in home, in a local clin­ic or hos­pi­tal, or a non-tra­di­tion­al care set­ting. Tech­nol­o­gy will be the dri­ving force in cre­at­ing con­ve­nient expe­ri­ences while help­ing man­age costs. Rather than con­cen­trat­ing care in urban envi­ron­ments, there has and may con­tin­ue to be a retailiza­tion of ser­vices through new hyper­local provider loca­tions as well as through non-tra­di­tion­al part­ner­ships, like the one we’ve seen with CVS and Aetna.

The health­care indus­try as a whole will need to con­tin­ue to look out­side itself, towards the lead­ers in tech­nol­o­gy, retail and beyond who have already proven them­selves suc­cess­ful in attract­ing and engag­ing con­sumers, and devel­op­ing high-qual­i­ty prod­uct expe­ri­ences that fit their lifestyle. And while the med­ical indus­try looks out­ward, pan­elists agreed that new play­ers will come into the space – play­ers who may not yet have the health­care exper­tise, but the right mod­els for excel­lent con­sumer brands and experiences.

The Twin Cities are well known in the health­care space for being inno­v­a­tive and unique col­lab­o­ra­tion among providers, pay­ers, cor­po­ra­tions and non-prof­its to bet­ter the qual­i­ty and care of patients. Pan­elists agreed, to main­tain our region’s posi­tion as nation­al health care lead­ers, this col­lab­o­ra­tion needs to con­tin­ue while stay­ing mind­ful of the holis­tic needs of the community.

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