Archives for January 2014

1.31.14 HealthBuzz

healthbuzz9Former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal shares how he became involved with the World Economic Forum’s Voice of Leaders campaign in the essay “No benchwarmers: Health care needs all players in the game” first published on He writes, “We are on the verge of a new wave of breakthroughs in medical and wireless technologies, legislation and more, but unless we all come together to collaborate across public and private sectors and across educational systems and research institutions we will not see significant change and improvement.” In other health innovation news:

Infographic: The Guide to the Future of Medicine

The HIT Consultant posted today The 20 Best Healthcare Technology Infographics of 2013. Number one on the list was the chart below prepared by medical futurist Dr. Bertalan Meskó to illustrate his Guide to the Future of Medicine:


1.30.14 HealthBuzz

healthbuzz6The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that savings from both the Medicare ACO and Pioneer ACO programs exceed $380 million. See details here. In a related item, HIT Consultant shares the National Association of ACOs’ first survey of the 2012 and 2013 Medicare ACOs that found average ACO start-up costs to be higher than initially estimated by CMS. Read more here. In other health innovation news:

In the News: What the Goliaths Can Learn From the Startups

up-by-jawbone-display-015In a post today titled The Future Of Consumer Health: What The Goliaths Can Learn From The Startups, Oliver Wyman’s Josh Michelson and Lippincott’s Heather Stern explore how new companies like Greatist and Jawbone are redefining notions of engagement and blazing a trail toward wellness and healthy living. Greatist provides a media source for health information offered in an accessible tone, while Jawbone is a maker of wireless fitness tracking wristbands. Both have had notable success in creating strong consumer engagement, building culture and community around their brands and services, and motivating their customers to ultimately change their behavior in healthy ways. The takeaway for established brands, the authors say, is that “mainstream healthcare companies should refocus their energies and budgets on creating meaningful customer experiences, which, in turn, will build organic brand advocates for their company.” To be successful in this rapidly evolving market, they advise players to focus on the consumer experience, use social tools to build community, and understand that behavior change is key.

Consumer engagement has long been the holy grail of healthcare—possibly out of reach of the complex institutional incumbents—but clearly in frame for this new class of consumer-driven life-improvement companies. This begs two fundamental questions. First, is it possible that the economics of “Health 2.0” will be driven by emotional connection, behavior change and the power to form real, human and motivating connections? And second, is this the rise of a new social/mobile consumer services market or planting the seeds for a health industry game changer?

The Forbes post grew out of conversations at the Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Center’s October ideation session on consumer- and patient-centered business designs. Learn more here.

CMO Shares Vision of Global Sustainability at WEF Meeting


Oliver Wyman Chief Medical Officer Jim Bonnette

U.S. healthcare is notoriously costly and wasteful—but it still has something to teach the world. That was the message Oliver Wyman’s chief medical officer, Dr. Jim Bonnette, took to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week. It’s not the whole system that the world should pay attention to, he told an audience of business and political leaders, but the handful of providers that over the past decade or so have created powerful new models of how care should be paid for and delivered. The two keys to improvement: (1) care coordination to prevent duplication and waste, but also inconsistencies and gaps, (2) aggressive, targeted care of the sickest, highest risk group. “It’s not a given that better healthcare benefits equal higher costs,” he says. “When incentives are aligned and innovation is rewarded, quality can rise even as costs fall.” He further cited Oliver Wyman research that shows the world’s developed nations could reduce their healthcare spending by almost 15 percent by adopting key reforms in care delivery, such as the Advanced Primary Care, Intensive Outpatient Care, and Extensivist models. “Many healthcare systems are trying to keep costs down through reducing what they pay for a given procedure or through rationing, an approach in the long run that forces trade-offs between quality, access, and sustainability,” Jim notes. “But there is another way.” Spreading this message is personal for Jim. In the video clip below, he tells the story of a near-death experience (as a patient in the hospital where he practiced) that turned him into a reformer.

1.29.14 HealthBuzz

healthbuzz4In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama implored Americans to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Republicans responded with a drumbeat of criticism of the law’s provisions and implementation. Kaiser Health News rounds up the commentary here. In other health innovation news:

Terry Stone: Welcome to Transforming Healthcare

Theresa Stone

Oliver Wyman Health & Life Sciences Managing Partner Terry Stone

With our launch of Transforming Healthcare, the official blog of Oliver Wyman’s Health & Life Sciences practice, we invite you to share in a community of healthcare innovators. As the healthcare world changes and leaders look for direction, guidance, and new ideas, Transforming Healthcare will gather the latest news on innovations in care delivery and offer a platform for diffusing proven value-based solutions. We’ll also give you our take on what is and isn’t working in the marketplace. We aspire to create tomorrow’s winners—transforming legacy healthcare players, incubating new businesses, establishing new industry partnerships, and developing the next generation of health leaders. Through this blog and our Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Center, we invite you to join our efforts to transform healthcare through the relentless pursuit of a better way.