The Future of Health Systems: Caring for People and Populations

June 12, 2022

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //

Jane Weber BrubakerFour health system executives imagine the future and what it will take to succeed.

In a fee-for-service world, “there’s a pretty hefty incentive to continue to drive more care into these hospital platforms,” says Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, president and CEO of Geisinger. But is that what consumers want and need? Ryu doesn’t think so. “The reality is, not many people wake up and say, ‘I want to go to the hospital for my care.’ And yet the payment methodology, if you’re in fee-for-service, pushes the systems exactly in that direction,” he says.

Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, president and CEO, Geisinger

Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, president and CEO, Geisinger

Ryu was one of four panelists who weighed in on what the successful system of the future might look like during the Becker’s Hospital Review 12th Annual Meeting, presented virtually in May, in a discussion moderated by Scott Becker. Other panelists were Imran Andrabi, MD, president and CEO of ThedaCare; Cliff Megerian, MD, FACS, CEO, University Hospitals; and Laura Forese, MD, EVP, COO, NewYork-Presbyterian.

One outcome of the shift from volume to value is that in the quest to manage the health of populations, the focus turns to individual people and finding ways to help them better manage their health. These health system leaders see a future that prioritizes prevention, and consumer choice as to where and how they receive care. Ryu says that at Geisinger, “We’re firm believers that the system of the future has to get more care upstream, meaning outside the hospitals and into the homes and the clinics, the virtual sphere — and prevention, of course, being the ideal.”

Shifting the payment and care delivery model is not just good for business. It’s good for people. Health systems of the future will revolve around patients, not the other way around.

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