Monday, May 1, 2023
HLTH 2023: The Time for Fluff is Over
Jody TropeanoHead of Content, HLTH
In 2023, we continue to face threats to public health, a mental health epidemic, a geopolitical crisis and social injustice. Additionally, imminent action is required to address the continued rise of healthcare costs and systemic inequities deeply ingrained in our health system. We are dying younger with more chronic disease, higher rates of depression and with more debt than ever before. Our quality of life is declining. You feel it, we feel it, so let’s do something about it.
If you look hard enough, you’ll find glimmers of hope within the troubling news about the current state of our health and well-being. Progress is being made in all corners of our industry. We spend a whole lot of time focusing on why healthcare is hard and cannot change, rather than speaking to what’s possible if we try. My favorite quote is “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Instead of opining on why health cannot be disrupted, let’s actually attempt to disrupt it by finding small cracks where we can start to chip away.
At HLTH, we’re not putting on our rose-colored glasses any time soon, but instead are choosing to take a more positive, action-oriented outlook. We encourage all to think beyond yourself, your company, your bottom line.
Let’s lead with hope, rather than fear, to elevate humanity.
Our agenda will walk us through the story of how we got here, where we are now and what we can achieve once we face uncomfortable truths and remain open to the new technological innovations that can change the course of health’s future.
According to the NIH, the triple aim in healthcare is improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of health care. In the past few years, they’ve expanded to a quintuple aim, including both clinician well-being and health equity.
Given the rising cost of care, clinician burnout at an all-time high, continued healthcare restrictions on women and the LGBTQIA+ community, and a remarkably low public satisfaction with our healthcare system, we are not quite hitting the mark.
Our agenda will present new targets for health leaders. Let’s aim to:
- Reduce the cost of care for patients and realign incentives within our health system to allow for this shift of cost. Somebody’s cost cannot always mean somebody else’s profits when you are dealing in the business of human lives.
- Intervene early and often to catch disease at nascent stages, avoid downstream complications and costs, and create healthier individuals from a younger age. No matter how you cut the cake, we are a sick care system. Let’s focus on prevention and intervention.
- Improve how patients and caregivers access and experience the health system. From choosing benefits to scheduling a care visit to finding a clinical trial to end of life care, the health experience should match or be significantly better than interactions with any other industry. Again, our business is humanity, the stakes are life and death.
- Ensure quality care for all patients, full stop. The statistics are alarming and prove that in our current system, your zip code, your gender identity, your skin color, your socioeconomic status - the list goes on - are direct factors in the quality of care you will receive. This is unacceptable.
- Create more affordable and accessible treatments for curable disease and expand research into the incurable. We have the most innovative R&D in the world. Let's unlock our full potential, empower our scientists and not wait until the next pandemic to show the world what we are capable of developing.
- Foster and fund the innovations that will move the industry and world forward. The status quo is not working, we have to try new things, fail, and then try new things again. Instead of leading with fear and criticism when discussing novel technologies, let’s focus on what is possible. Investing in our industry’s digital future is imperative.
- Empower those working within our health system: from clinicians and nurses to benefits professionals to scientists to engineers. A company is only as good as its people, so finding solutions to help our people should be on all organizations' priority list.
So what does this mean for the HLTH 2023 agenda? Well, we are thinking big and bold. We are not interested in sales pitches, self-promotional monologues or buzzwords-filled back and forths. We have a lot to change in this industry, and fluff just won’t get us there.
The health industry is uniquely positioned to make a remarkable impact on this world. We hope the conversations and revelations that occur on our stages will reverberate throughout the rest of the industry. We’re excited to bring a new cohort of pioneering health leaders to the HLTH stage.
We’ve never been more hopeful about health’s future. Let’s elevate humanity together!