Former Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini: US healthcare is a warranty system that 'waits for humans to break'

Mark Bertolini, former CEO of Aetna — now owned by CVS Health — compared the U.S. healthcare system to the auto industry in an interview at the Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose's annual "Board of Boards" event, according to Chief Executive.

"We have a warranty system in this country. Just like you have a warranty for when your car breaks … we have a health system that waits for humans to break," Mr. Bertolini said during a keynote panel. He said instead of confronting health problems before they arise, the health system waits for patients to present with problems.

Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton joined Mr. Bertolini on the panel. Mr. Ishrak didn't concur with Mr. Bertolini's observation, according to Chief Executive:

"When a car is under warranty and it breaks, you take it back to the dealer [and get it fixed without paying]. If you have a procedure and it doesn't go right for some reason … if you go back to the hospital and get it looked at, you have to pay again. Or someone does and your copay goes up," he said. Ultimately Mr. Ishrak and Mr. Bertolini agreed the U.S. healthcare system isn't patient-centered.

For the full Chief Executive interview with Mr. Bertolini, click here.

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