Deep state was defined in 2014 by Mike Lofgren, a former Republican U.S. congressional aide, as “a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process”. While I’m not into conspiracy theory, having watched and participated for the last 37 years in healthcare, I’m beginning to wonder….

I read with great interest an article from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal that quoted Fairview Health Services CEO James Hereford as saying a very large healthcare software company was an “impediment of innovation”. While I understand his frustration, as a life long member of the vendor community, the fault for this lies in the utter complacency “we” have with the status quo. Who is we???

If I, as a CEO, believe that a vendor is an impediment but I continue to buy products and services from them, then why would they ever change??? If I, as a citizen, continue to send the same representation to Washington thinking that somehow the very people who help put us in this position are now somehow going to magically fix it, who am I kidding??? If I as a healthcare customer continue to do business with a care delivery location that always renders mediocre service at best with continued support, then I must be okay with lousy service.

We have met the enemy and it’s US!!!

Elevating the conversation to a point where change occurs means we have to vote with our dollars, and our collective intellect. Americans, in general, are some of the more resourceful people in the world. Our history is filled with examples of ingenuity that has led to an economic boom for our citizens.

There is no reward without some risks. What I see are people who want the benefit but seem to be unwilling to take the risk.

That does not represent what we stand for here at Jellyfish Health… We run into the same software vendors out there that Fairview’s CEO was referring to. The big guys claim that they will ultimately be able to provide everything you as a customer would ever want. That is precisely what they should be saying. No one wants to lose customers.

We signed on to the risk of developing a brand equity platform for care delivery because we believe the market is moving there quickly. There will be no silver bullet to help care delivery get there. Disruptive technology like ours should pose no threat to the established vendors out there. In fact, if done correctly, this technology will put them in a much better future position to support their base of customers.

So why the resistance???

Holding on tightly to what you have is a natural human response. These companies didn’t achieve their position in the market by being naïve. But the products that they have produced were for a different market, with different conditions. Selling to consumers is different than selling to care delivery. The motivations are markedly different. Care delivery is trying to position themselves to provide a product/service, while the consumer is trying to decide where they will get the best result, with the fewest out of pocket expenses.

Employers are becoming very interested in their employees wellness. Most companies are self-insured and have watched their healthcare costs continue to rise year over year. From a historical perspective, healthcare’s % of GDP has risen from a little over 10% in 1983 to close to 18% today. Besides employees themselves, healthcare costs are the one area that business has yet to get their arms around but that is beginning to change.

Business is demanding transparency into those costs and will put tremendous pressure on care delivery to perform with higher quality at lower costs. In order to do that, they will demand access to the silos of data that exists throughout the care community. That brings me back to the deep state of healthcare.

The healthcare software industry I’ve had the privilege of working in for these last 37 years is filled with people who have a passion for our industry. All of us truly want to make a difference. We are entering a period that I believe will redefine our industry, and how it works. Consumer driven healthcare is no longer just a title for a book.

We at Jellyfish Health want to work with anyone dedicated to transforming our industry. Whether you are part of care delivery, an employer, or a payor who believes its time to put the consumer at the forefront, we want to work with you. There is enough revenue in this industry to support the change required. The only question is can we overcome ourselves to do what’s necessary???

 

 

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