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Insights Into the Future of Healthcare

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Earlier this month, team members of the Edelman Health sector were lucky enough to hear Dr. John Noseworthy speak at the Executive’s Club of Chicago on the advances in high science, innovation and how the dynamics of healthcare are changing rapidly. As the CEO of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Noseworthy is leading one of the most respected healthcare organizations, guiding it through a rapidly changing environment while advancing the institution’s vision of being a world-leading destination medical center for people who are very sick and require complex care. His expertise has also been an asset to the Trump administration, as Dr. Noseworthy provides advice to the President on the best practices in tackling complex issues of healthcare.

Below are five key takeaways from Dr. Noseworthy, which highlight his unique perspective on the healthcare agenda, what he has advised to President Trump and where the future of this industry is headed:

1. Highly paid clerks? For every one hour of patient time spent, physicians need to spend two hours on regulatory activity. This begs the question, are we turning our doctors into expensive clerks? Trump talks of the deregulation of Wall Street and the oil and gas industries, but the deregulation of healthcare needs not to fall off the radar, says Noseworthy. We need to recognize the impact administrative burden has on the physician profession, the system and on patient care. Deregulation is key.

2. Complex cases. For Noseworthy, the lack of attention to complex cases in the ACA replacement act — as well as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as it stands — is worrisome. Current incentives still baked into the health system hark back to a time when providers were paid for volume, not quality or outcome. This needs to change.

3. Jobs and competition. Biomedical research must be prioritized in this political term, says Noseworthy. How do we make sure this happens? Show how biomedical research will be the commercialization engine that will aid our global competitiveness and provide high quality jobs for the next generation, he says. 

4. New models. In the business of health, we know that new models are required to achieve efficiency and quality for more of the population. Noseworthy shared how the Mayo Clinic is doing business in an “entirely different” way, so a wider pool of patients benefit from the world-class expertise of the institution. Through the Mayo Clinic Knowledge system, their teams have essentially productized clinical knowledge, offering other institutions an annual subscription to access expertise and consultation remotely. This is a great example of collaboration and consolidating resources in the challenging health care environment.

5. In health, patience is a virtue. Americans are impatient, Noseworthy observes, and don’t want to wait for new medicines. A rigorous regulatory system, however, is in place for the safety of patients, and society must respect the checks it places on new therapies. In the same vein, Noseworthy shared the inspiring account of a team of surgeons at the Mayo Clinic who recently completed the first near-total face transplant. With the patient’s full support, they told this incredible story 10 months following the procedure. Why wait to tell a story about such a pioneering feat?  They needed to first ensure the patient was doing well, physically and psychologically.

 Lucy Yeatman is vice president, Health, Edelman Chicago.

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