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A New Revolution Begins: ‘Voices for Value’

This is your world. Shape it or someone else will. Gary Lew

This quote is so true! If we simply sit back and complain about the status of healthcare and health insurance rates in Iowa, nothing will change. We need to reshape our healthcare world. And, to begin to shape it, we need an open and honest dialog about the conditions that currently exist, determine what is working and where improvement is needed.

To encourage this dialog, I have written a ‘Voices for Value’ white paper, based on employers’ responses to survey questions regarding their satisfaction with their regional hospitals and doctors. You may download your FREE copy of ‘Voices for Value‘ here. Since issuing our press release last week on Iowa employer perceptions of the Iowa healthcare provider community, the interest in this white paper has been overwhelming!

Iowa Association of Business and IndustryI wish to thank the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) for sponsoring ‘Voices for Value.’  After learning about this paper, ABI has been extremely supportive in promoting the contents of our survey. It is a great honor for me to have ABI involved as the sole sponsor. 

The findings from this ground-breaking survey are quite clear:  Iowa employers expect more from their healthcare providers than what they are currently receiving in most all of the survey’s 11 performance indicators.

  • Access to services
  • Concern for patient satisfaction
  • Electronic health records
  • Consistent quality of care
  • Ability to engage patients
  • Focus on wellness and health promotion
  • Efficiency
  • Coordination of care among providers
  • Transparency in medical outcomes
  • Cost transparency
  • Keeping cost reasonable

In addition to the above indicators, employers were asked to rate the extent of ‘Trust’ they have for the providers serving their workforce. Having trust in those who provide care is paramount to having a highly-functional healthcare system. I firmly believe that greater trust will result when improvements are made within each of the performance areas.

Until this survey was conducted in mid-2013, the voice of Iowa employers has been diffused, diluted and, mostly silent. For care to be appropriate, efficient and cost effective, a meaningful revolution must occur in Iowa (and elsewhere) to drive innovation with carefully-placed incentives (and disincentives) that will reward behaviors we desire – from both the care delivery and consumption sides. But it won’t be easy.

It has been said that “Revolutions never happen in comfortable shoes.” 

As found in most social change, this new revolution will be uncomfortable, but very necessary – if not critical. Healthcare providers must heed the voices that have emerged from ‘Voices for Value,’ and take action to deliver high-value care to their customers, the very people they serve within their communities. This revolution may also be uncomfortable for employers, who have historically relinquished the oversight of healthcare delivery to third parties. Now, employers must take action by providing constructive, ongoing feedback to the providers serving their communities. Somehow healthcare has lost this critical ‘voice’ to serve as a crucial guide on how care should be delivered.

The new healthcare revolution in Iowa is buoyed by ‘Voices for Value.’ However, Voices merely serves as the first step in a long journey to high-value care that we all deserve. The ‘value’ of care has been defined as health outcomes achieved per dollar spent* – and we currently spend an enormous amount of money with seemingly few controls to reduce this growing expenditure. Yet, as witnessed in our survey results, Iowa employers have spoken loud and clear that care is mediocre, at best. A revolution is necessary to reshape our healthcare world.

Based on how Iowa employers perceive the care provided within their communities, ‘Voices for Value’ establishes the basic framework of issues that require new transformations in our local healthcare system. ‘Voices for Value’ is not an exhaustive accounting of the myriad of issues inherent in healthcare, but rather, it serves as a baseline from which new initiatives can be thoughtfully developed and pursued by all interested stakeholders within Iowa to make the changes that we all desire to have.

Continue to follow our future blogs on how this revolution is gaining traction and, most importantly, how YOUR voice can be heard!

To learn more, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.

*Michael E. Porter, Harvard Professor

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