Health innovation is an opaque term that offers some highly relevant and tangible solutions. In the broad sense, health innovation is just that: positive changes to technology and best practices that bring care to a higher standard. This, however, only begins to scratch the surface of what healthcare innovation means—and moreover, its implications.
Total healthcare spending in the United States grew almost 10 percent in 2020 alone, bringing the total expenditure to over $4 trillion, which equates to just over $12,500 per person, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That is an obscene amount of money in absolute terms; but it gets even scarier when you consider this level of healthcare spending comes out to just a hair under 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
It would be one thing if we were spending so much money and it was having great results. But this is almost the opposite of the truth. We’re spending so much money on healthcare and people continue to be sick and require expensive treatments. Clearly, organizations across the board need to consider ways to improve upon their healthcare outcomes for employees. Let’s look at why health innovation should be part of your benefits strategy.
Why Is Health Innovation Important?
Through various forms of health innovation, it’s possible to reduce costs to consumers and employers alike—all while improving the underlying quality of care. Much of this begins at the enterprise, the source of healthcare for 180 million people in the United States. When businesses and other employers are able to improve the benefits and health of employees, it can have a cascading effect across the whole system.
One can simply look at the health data of the U.S. over time to get a feel for why health innovation is so important today. There were about eight times as many people as a percentage of the population with diagnosed diabetes in 2015 as there were in 1958, according to data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Of course, some of this might have been related to under-diagnosing patients in the past. But even if we narrow the comparison band to 1990, where 2.5 percent of the population was diagnosed, it’s still a remarkable change to 7.4 only 25 years later.
What’s needed is a combination of better healthcare benefits along with better health practices. Organizations must step up to help employees achieve healthier lives.
How to Implement Health Innovation at Your Enterprise
So, how should enterprises implement health innovation solutions? There are several ways to go about this. Probably the most effective route is to immediately partner with a healthcare consulting firm.
Most organizations are going to be completely out of their comfort zones and realms of expertise when it comes to health innovation. If you want to drive meaningful results from invested time and capital, it’s best to work with a consulting firm that can achieves these goals. Here are a few of the benefits that come with a healthcare consulting partner:
- Knowledge of key milestones and best practices – Whether it’s the overall design of your health innovation initiatives or certain approaches, they should be informed by high-level expertise. You’re only going to have this kind of information if you seek it out from consulting professionals.
- Build for each, not every – When you’re working with a huge workforce, it can sometimes be difficult to provide customized plans and benefits to each individual. Partnering with a healthcare consulting firm will grant you the tools and know-how to reach all people while still delivering what they need to be healthier.
- Always refer to data – A healthcare consulting firm will have the technology and capabilities to gather and harness data for more productive health innovation.
We are all affected by the cost of healthcare—whether it’s to our wellbeing or our wallet. Enterprises can strive for health innovation initiatives to lower costs and improve care for employees.