Dr. Roy Beveridge, Humana’s Chief Medical Officer, recently spoke with The Pulse, a healthcare journal associated with the Wharton Health Care Business Conference. Dr. Beveridge will be speaking at the conference later this month, on a panel titled “The Other 50% of Health: Bending the Health Care Cost Curve via Wellness & Behavioral Economics.”
The pulse noted these key takeaways from their conversation:
• Payment mechanisms will be the driver behind changes in how the healthcare system approaches basic wellness (e.g., diet, exercise, sleep, stress). As we shift towards value-based care, the whole system has more incentives to promote wellness.
• Payers need stability in the populations they are covering so that there is a financial return to investing in wellness. It’s hard to invest a lot of time and money into someone’s long-term wellness if you’re only insuring them for a couple of years.
• Basic social factors, like your ZIP code or education level, can determine a massive part of your health and wellness, and payers need to partner with civic leaders and community organizations to improve the health of socially-disadvantaged communities.
“I practiced medicine for over twenty years, and I recognize that the engagement of the physician is crucially important,” Dr. Beveridge told the publication. “The medical world has switched from the fee-for-service (FFS) mentality to value-based care (VBC), which means that doctors are no longer paid just for a treatment, but for outcomes. This creates a huge change in doctors’ treatment plans for their patients, including a big focus on educating the patient; for example, helping them understand why taking insulin is important. The payment mechanism is driving this behavior change, and this behavior change is making people healthier.”