Harvard's Clayton Christensen on what healthcare really needs

The vast majority of healthcare innovation created since 2000 has perpetuated traditional business models rather than disrupting them, according to an essay published by Harvard Business Review.

Penned by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen; Andrew Waldeck, senior partner at consulting firm Innosight; and Rebecca Fogg, senior research fellow in healthcare at the Clayton Christensen Institute, the essay makes the case that innovation in healthcare, though long overdue, has only just begun. While most healthcare startups have focused on biotech, pharma and devices, those innovations only add cost to the system. The best innovations are low-tech care redesign, models like Medicare's Independence at Home Demonstration or Boston-based Iora Health's team-based primary care.

These models have produced "dramatic results," according to the authors, but their best practices must be embraced by care providers, payers and legislators alike to drive more change and reduce costs on a national scale. "While this care model has proved powerful at a small scale, to have significant impact on costs and outcomes nationally it must serve millions more consumers," the authors wrote.

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