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RED HOT Contributors


Episode 37 – The Future of Consumers in Health Care


Hey, today is July 16th – and I’m fortunate enough to be celebrating my 49th birthday. My kids wonder how much longer I’ll stay in my forties.

I keep telling them, “quit rushing me…!”

I’ve been privileged to interview many rock-solid healthcare and technology leaders, but this episode is very special as it touches on one of my passions.

Strap yourselves in for a wild ride…because today, I’m diving deep into two powerful words:  


And the role they play in the future sustainability of our health system.

Even with augmented intelligence, the promise of interoperability, the connecting power of telemedicine, risk mitigation and optimizing care with analytics…there’s something to remember.

The ground that has supported the entire healthcare system for more than fifty years…is shifting right under our feet.

Healthcare service and drug prices have skyrocketed…

Some hospitals are slowing up and closing down…

Physicians are burning out…

Insurance premiums, deductibles and patient responsibilities are at sharp increases…

PLUS…many middle-income workers haven’t seen a wage increase in more than a decade.

And estimates report that 7 out of 10 Americans have less than 1,000 in savings.

This environment is leading healthcare’s consumers to start understanding their potential to rise up, vote with their wallets, and start changing healthcare from the inside out.

Reaching, targeting and growing future consumer engagement should be a part of every health company’s growth tactics and strategy.

On Today’s Episode Dr. Steve discusses:

  • The ‘questioning’ story of Van Philips
  • How costs trump pricing
  • Why health care is different from other consumer sectors
  • A unique idea of how to fix healthcare with ‘safety net’ coverage + injecting consumerism
  • Millennials to the rescue?

[on Millennials and Healthcare Consumerism]

DR. STEVE: “Health consumerism is already arriving, and millennials are likely leading the way. Unlike baby boomers, this generation demands more for themselves and knows how to get what they want…or create a solution to solve for it.

Examples of consumerism in other areas already include:

–       Millennials changing from Blockbuster to Netflix.

–       Millennials wouldn’t buy newspapers when they could read news online.

–      Millennials saying goodbye to expensive newspaper ads — when Craigslist comes to the rescue!

–      Millennials didn’t go to bank branches and tellers – they transact finances online

–     You know whose now developing consumer-based technology to drive down healthcare costs, increase efficiency, and focus more than ever on wellness?

–    And do you also know who HAS NOT YET begun hitting the brunt of chronic disease in their lives? And when they do, they won’t settle for the high cost, poor outcomes, costly drug pricing, woeful care inefficiency, burnt out doctors, poor care culture, and long lines to wait for care?

Right on all questions…it’s MILLENNIALS

Within 12 years, this generation will make up nearly 75% of the U.S. workforce and more than three-quarters already know that the quality of benefits will figure in highly toward their decision on where to work.

That’s important, because today there are many corporate benefits executives and teams that merely renew their traditional health insurance. Many believe that healthcare brokers work for them.

In reality, the truth is that broker-client relations are often not aligned due to bonuses and other non-transparent compensation, typically shielded from self- and fully-insured clients. This is one reason why brokers are being replaced by certified benefits advisors.

Tomorrow’s benefit teams will need to act as better consumers, recognizing that they have a tremendous opportunity to save the company and investors money – through a number of tactics to deliver care cost accountability, high quality care options, employee responsibility on choice, and measurable analytics.”


 I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Steve Ambrose on a podcast that covered a range of topics in healthcare information technology. The podcast logistics – communications, interview questions, scheduling and production – were every well managed.
A great experience that I would do again in an instance.

Dr. John Glaser
SVP, Population Health at CERNER

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