“Hospitals traditionally focus on sick people,” comments Dr. Ninfa Saunders. “The challenge is to balance short-term performance and long-term health.” Saunders, the CEO of Navicent Health in Macon, was the keynote speaker for the 2018 GEA Spring Conference. In her presentation, she describes changes coming to healthcare, including mergers and combinations of hospitals and providers to stratify risk and balance patient populations.

Among the causes for current health care problems, Saunders states that the current insurance system is based on acute treatment, while chronic problems are responsible for increasing health care costs. Saunders describes a value framework that considers accountability, access to care, and affordability to provide long-term health benefits to consumers.

Aspects of the framework include:

  1. Right Living – patient accountability for health.
  2. Right Care – Access points to health care.
  3. Right Provider – healthcare access in rural areas and to vulnerable communities.
  4. Affordability – equitable provision of services.
  5. Right Innovation – disruptive opportunities to improve healthcare.

Saunders urges businesses to take an active role in improving healthcare for their employees and to consider innovative and even disruptive strategies to improve long-term health.