Innovation Interchange: The Nexus General Session with Health Care Futurist Joe Flower
An American colonial fife-and-drum band set the tone of the session with a spirited national anthem. AMCP President Dana McCormick recognized Platinum Sponsors Bonnie Shaul of AbbVie and Larry Labagnara of Sunovian for their support of AMCP educational programming. Vaishali Patel of Allergan introduced the AMCP Foundation Allergan interns, recognizing them for their work in a variety of professional settings and specific projects. John Main of Pfizer introduced the AMCP Foundation Pfizer Interns and acknowledged their dedicated work that bridged the gap between classroom learning and real-world experience in managed care pharmacy. President McCormick also thanked Genentech, Amgen, and Dymaxium for their sponsorship of the 14th Annual National Pharmacy and Therapeutics Competition, won by the team from the University of California, San Francisco.
Sponsor Jason Twombly of MedImpact HealthCare Systems introduced general session speaker Joe Flower, who asked everyone to bump elbows (as opposed to shaking hands) in anticipation of flu season. We live in a time when health care is destined to affect all of our lives and we have the opportunity to make health care better and cheaper over the next few years. He noted that health care in the United States has always been somewhat more expensive than the rest of the world, but in 1983 there was an effort to reduce costs, which had the unintended consequence of inflating them. He revealed that the most expensive place to die in the U.S. is a hospital in Los Angeles, California, and the least expensive is the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota—health care pricing is heavily influenced by locality. Flower also outlined what he presented as unnecessary procedures, tests, and screenings that pad health care costs by staggering amounts. If we begin to pay for things differently, prices could collapse to levels seen in the rest of the world. Industries can change in a decade and the health care industry is no different. Example: Could we change the way we pay for new drugs? What if we thought of pharmaceuticals as a part of the national infrastructure, as critical to the nation’s functioning as solid roads and bridges? The old business model is code-driven, fee-for-service. Doctors do not get paid for healing, they get paid for visits and treatments. Pay for wellness and prevention. Utilize technology to manage patient interaction, including examples of how wireless phone technology is revolutionizing medical screenings. Flower concluded with a call to action to reform health care from the inside.