Healthcare is taking on a new definition. It no longer means physicians or hospitals, but whatever people need to stay healthy in this moment. This includes better information, support, connection to a caring community, and preventing expensive healthcare services. Healthcare continues to evolve under the needs and demands of an emerging and powerful player in the equation: the New Health Consumer. The New Health Consumer behaves far differently from a traditional “patient.” Borne of out a new financial responsibility for healthcare created by government regulations, they no longer tolerate a passive role or poor experience, and seek value and self-service for their dollars. They demand more and better information, transparency, higher quality experience, and affordability.
Tullman’s book calls for creating a system designed to put consumers in charge of their health, on their terms. Today’s healthcare strategies overlook what people truly need–better tools and information to manage their health independently–and instead focus on further “engagement” in a broken system where they lack access to care and control over their condition. A better, more forward-thinking, and ultimately cost-saving solution is to empower health consumers with tools, information, and a community to manage their condition. Organizations, both inside and outside the existing system of care, should embrace innovation as not only critical, but necessary in a model increasingly focused on value and performance.
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