5 ways to improve healthcare, according to Intermountain's CEO

The pandemic exposed many flaws within the U.S healthcare system. Health systems can improve access, affordability and patient health by combining these five strategies to fix the system, as reported in Harvard Business Review Dec. 15. 

Marc Harrison, MD, CEO of Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, shared five critical priorities for the U.S. healthcare system.

1. Focus on prevention.

Given that the majority of Americans live with at least one chronic disease, health systems should zero in on preventive care and help boost the general health of patients before they come in for specific problems.

2. Tackle racial disparities.

Address social determinants of health as a way of tackling racial disparities. Using data to understand patterns allows health systems to then make interventions.

3. Expand telehealth services.

Centering a consumer experience in healthcare by expanding telemedicine offerings and in-home hospital services can help meet patients' needs in their environment where they feel most comfortable. 

4. Build integrated systems.

Health systems that offer their own insurance plans or do so through partnerships are more financially resilient and can weather storms better. They can also more easily share learning and best practices.

5. Switch to a value-based model.

These models can correct misaligned incentives and reduce healthcare costs by prioritizing the health of patients and reducing the amount of treatments needed.

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