The stage is set for a complete rebirth of our healthcare system.
The COVID-19 pandemic, a new wave of technological advances, and a renewed awareness of the historical deficiencies in healthcare have all led to a monumental inflection point.
I had just stumbled in late to a Zoom meeting when I heard Stan Dunlap, SVP of Total Rewards at Salesforce and panelist at ReWork Health, proclaim “We were in the midst of a healthcare renaissance.”
Surprised to enter the conversation on that note, my mind quickly began racing to find the points of intersection between 15th-century Italy and 21st-century America.
Then it clicked. The rebirth of Europe, a time that left behind the fixed ideas of the Middle Ages and created the beginnings of the modern world as we know it, may be the perfect prism for understanding the period we are entering for U.S. healthcare.
Just as the 14th-century Black Death pandemic led to fundamental shifts in all aspects of life in the Middle Ages, the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed wide-reaching reform today. The invention of the printing press democratized knowledge and led people to challenge institutions, while today’s increased access to personal health information empowers people to drive their own healthcare decisions. We even have something akin to a modern patronage system, with the likes of Tiger Global backing healthcare entrepreneurs with the same vigor that the Medici family supported Italian artists, scientists, and writers.
Health care in this country is undergoing an exciting revolution, even as those on the front lines of COVID-19 continue to fight their toughest battles yet. The same way da Vinci first incorporated scientific principles into drawings and Brunelleschi advanced mathematics to design immense buildings and expansive domes, we are making extraordinary advances in biotech, gene sequencing, mRNA, CRISPR, and precision medicine. But even as our scientists and practitioners develop new innovations at a previously unimaginable rate, we must consider: Can our healthcare infrastructure support them in these era-defining advances?
In his famous and profound Atlantic article, How American Health Care Killed My Father, David Goldhill captured the “terrible and perverse results” of our healthcare system’s misaligned incentives. While the system still suffers from the same ills he decries—complexity, hidden costs, and a bias for treatment over prevention—I believe we are better positioned today than ever before to finally solve these problems.
So, why now?
We have in place all the ingredients—dedicated clinicians, entrepreneurs, healthcare leaders, and innovators—to make the next decade a transformational one for healthcare. But to truly capitalize on all this potential and emerging good, we need to be intentional. We must systematically rid ourselves of what has held us back from what we are all here to accomplish: better experiences, better outcomes, and lower costs. The masters of the Renaissance had access to emergent tools and conditions that allowed them to flourish. What is it about our time that makes it equally rich with potential? Here are some of the key components:
So, now what?
With an unprecedented set of conditions aligned to support a renaissance in healthcare, what are the necessary next steps? Technology needs to move faster, consumers need to be smarter, employers need to be more discerning, and insurers need to be more aligned. The list is long, but it doesn’t require extreme (and likely unactionable) moves like going to a single-payer system or ending insurance companies’ profits.
Find out the seven foundational action items for the healthcare system—doable today—that will lay the groundwork for the healthcare renaissance here.
And for more information on Businessolver’s and Rightway’s partnership, check out the press release here.
Jordan Feldman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Rightway. Jordan founded Rightway to solve some of the biggest challenges across the medical and pharmacy landscape. Growing up with a physician for a father, Jordan saw first-hand how having a dedicated, expert advocate could simplify healthcare, improve quality, and lower costs. At Rightway, his mission is to provide every member with the same experience by combining clinician-led support with an intuitive app that guides consumers towards high-quality, cost-efficient care. Prior to Rightway, Jordan was part of both the Mortgage Trading and Investment Banking teams at Goldman Sachs which he left to help found the private equity firm Redbird Capital Partners.