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Rx: Disruption

Carey Business School Health Advisory Board articulates the prescription for a better health care system
Posted February 11, 2015

If ever an industry was in need of a disruption, it is the United States health care system. The world’s most costly, it gobbles up 17 percent of our gross domestic product. By 2020, that figure is likely to reach 20 percent, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

But we get what we pay for, right? Well, not so much. In the World Health Organization’s ranking of health care systems, the U.S. holds the 37th spot, between Costa Rica and Slovenia, and is just two slots better than Cuba. (France and Italy top the WHO list.)

And yet many observers see hope for U.S. health care in a variety of disruptions and trends that could bring positive, long-overdue change to the system. Among these are genome mapping, data-storage apps, “the wellness model,” the habits of the Millennial Generation, whistle-blowers, and, perhaps the biggest shake-up of the past few years, the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

In September, members of the Carey Business School’s health care advisory board – executives who help guide Carey on curriculum and research, and who serve as a bridge between the school and industry – met at the Harbor East campus for their regular semi-annual meeting. While on campus, they gathered for a luncheon discussion, moderated by Dean Bernard T. Ferrari, of the disruptions (such as those mentioned above) that have already begun to alter the health care system and could change it even more in years to come.

Later, seven of the board members who attended the September meeting – Earl Steinberg, Kris Jenner, Christopher Kersey, Elizabeth Fowler, Jeffrey Kindler, John Dineen, and Stephen Immelt – took part in follow-up interviews to expand on points raised during the luncheon conversation. Excerpts from those interviews follow and the full article is online at ONE Magazine.


“Until there is a financial incentive for providers to be more fiscally responsible,they won’t do it.” 
—Earl Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer of xG Health Solutions, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Dissemination, and Chief, Healthcare Solutions, Geisinger Health System

“Consumerism, in terms of better economics and the pursuit of better quality, did not exist in health care the way it has in other industries. But now we’re starting to see more consumers turn into shoppers for health care.” 
—John Dineen, Former Chief Executive Officer and President of GE Healthcare

“In spite of all the opposition and the continued partisan politics, by many measures [the aca] is working in terms of covering the uninsured and sparking a national movement toward value-based care.” 
—Elizabeth J. Fowler, Vice President, Global Health Policy, Johnson & Johnson and Former Special Assistant to President Obama for Healthcare and Economic Policy at the National Economic Council

“Certainly there are very strong policy reasons why everyone should have access to health care, but the challenge is how you do that in the context of what now exists.” 
—Stephen J. Immelt, Chief Executive Officer of Hogan Lovells (multinational law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., and London)

“Whenever reimbursement paradigms are changed and service providers are paid fundamentally differently than in the past, you have to consider that a major trend within any industry.” |
—Christopher W. Kersey, Partner and Managing Partner of Camden Partners (private equity firm based in Baltimore)

“Watch the science….over the next decade and beyond, we’re going to have better therapies in disease areas for which today we don’t have good therapies.” 
—Kris Jenner, Founder of Rock Springs Capital Management

“People today, especially younger people, are accustomed to having a lot of information that empowers them to make decisions.”
—Jeff Kindler, Chief Executive Officer of Centrexion and Former Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer