Skip to content


  • Add this article to your LinkedIn page
  • Add this article to your Twitter feed
  • Add this article to your Facebook page
  • Email this article
  • View or print a PDF of this page
  • Share further
  • Add this article to your Pinterest board
  • Add this article to your Google page
  • Share this article on Reddit
  • Share this article on StumbleUpon
  • Bookmark this page

PA Consulting Group teams up with leading experts to discuss how we can improve health in our communities - and it’s not all about data

27 October 2014

PA Consulting Group advances the conversation around improving health in the community by hosting a panel of thought leaders at a health business forum.

The panel of leading experts included:

  • Chris Steel – Healthcare expert, PA Consulting Group

  • Esther Dyson – Founder of HICCup and Chairman of EDventure Holdings

  • Kathryn Bowles RN – VP of Home Care Policy and Research at Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY)

  • Steve Epstein MD, MPP – Emergency Physician, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Emergency Medicine delegate to the American Medical Association

  • Matt Portch – VP of Commercial Effectiveness, Global Innovative Products, Pfizer

  • Aneesh Kumar – Head of Consumer Engagement Strategy, Aetna

In the United States the impact of healthcare reform is driving important change across the industry. Chronic conditions are increasing as our population ages and our healthcare system is straining to address what is now a diabetes epidemic. That pressure is often most acutely felt in lower income areas and in remote rural locations across the country.

Amidst the many pressures of healthcare reform, we must ensure we commit to creating a rising tide which improves the health of all of our communities, rather than preserving the imbalances which have historically been the standard.

“We specifically chose health as opposed to healthcare as a focal point for this important discussion,” said Chris Steel, healthcare expert, PA Consulting Group.  “In particular we wanted to explore how best to improve overall health in areas which have been underserved by our healthcare system historically”

According to the experts:

  • We are data rich, but information poor.  Becoming well versed in the types of cutting edge technology that will educate and engage patients to make important decisions about the kind of care they want to receive is critical.  We are in need of access to a concise story about a given patient – we either have too much or too little information. 

  • A network of trust needs to be built among patients and providers.  Doctors are very successful at checking all the right boxes, but not good at measuring whether those steps were successful in treating the patient properly.  As we look ahead to the future building a patient centered universe will be critical.  Medicine is not just a science, it’s an art. 

  • It is not just about big data; it is about data liquidity for healthcare effectiveness.  Behavioral changes are necessary so that we get the right patient, the right medicine at the right time.  Public health funding has diminished drastically.  Right now incentives are focused on sick care, not preventative care.  We need to focus on keeping healthy patients healthy.

  • New business models have started to emerge.  Email, video and remote diagnosis is becoming more prevalent.  The choice of providers can decline at any moment.  The industry has failed the consumer in providing easily accessible healthcare.  Clinicians are now starting to recognize the value in extending their care team and look at their team with a broader lens.  Preventative urgent and primary care should become the norm.

“If you want to produce genuine health in a community you need to do multiple self-reinforcing things,” said Esther Dyson, Founder of HICCup and Chairman of EDventure Holdings.  “Most community health efforts end up dissipating in the wind – you fix a neighborhood but then people move or funding runs out.  We have begun to realize that community health efforts and relying on philanthropy is not the answer.  We need to explore new business models which involve long term investments that will bring about meaningful change.  How do we make the production of health profitable? - whether it’s healthy school lunches and creating demand for healthy food, better management of chronic conditions, or employer investments in wellness.”  

The relationship between providers and insurance is broken and today’s model is confrontational.  The journey is far from over, but finding ways to deliver health profitably is key.  Health insurance needs to reduce risk, not just distribute risk. Working towards a better definition of metrics will help both payers and providers understand costs and value. 

If you are interested in additional insights from the discussion, please tune into the webcast here:

To join the social conversation, follow: @PA_healthcare


By using this website, you accept the use of cookies. For more information on how to manage cookies, please read our privacy policy.