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Susan Dentzer Discusses Innovation in Healthcare

Susan Dentzer, president and CEO of The Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, discussed innovation happening in healthcare and the growing discussion around social determinants of health and addressing the upstream drivers of health.


Susan Dentzer, president and CEO of The Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, discussed innovation happening in healthcare and the growing discussion around social determinants of health and addressing the upstream drivers of health.

Transcript (slightly modified)

Where have you seen some of the most impressive innovation happening in healthcare?

I think what we're seeing now is extraordinary on many levels. For one thing, we're seeing this real move from volume to value take place. Now, is it as fast as many people would have wanted? No. Are there still lots of parts of the country that are still pretty firmly embedded in fee-for-service payment? Yes, no question about it.

But I think we're farther along than many people would have expected several years ago. Not just because of what has happened on the public side with Medicare articulating its goals for moving from volume to value, but also how much has happened on the private side as private payers have come on board. So that, first and foremost, I think is striking to see how far we've come.

I think on top of that, we're seeing a lot of innovation around digital health and the use of technology, data, data analytics, etc., and bringing all of those forces to bear front and center on healthcare, and health insurance.

I think finally, you're hearing more and more discussion of the fundamental reality that we're not going to improve health in this country unless we address the upstream drivers of health. And these are factors that typically lie outside of the healthcare delivery system, and way outside of the health insurance system. But with the poor health of Americans continuing to come up against a very costly delivery system, we know we're not going to make any difference in the cost or affordability or sustainability of all this unless we produce healthier people. And the number one job of that lies with society, not with the healthcare system.

And so as we hear organizations like Kaiser Permanente and others talk about bringing the social determinants of health into their business model and really trying to think about how to improve health by attacking some of these upstream drivers of health, that's going to create a very different set of systems for us around the country.

 
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