Consumers Take Charge in Healthcare Say Leaders at HIDA Hospital–Physician Market Conference

January 27, 2017

4 Insights From HIDA’s Hospital–Physician Market Conference

Alexandria, Va. – Consumers are paying closer attention to their healthcare costs and are increasingly willing to search for alternatives, according to speakers at HIDA’s recent Hospital-Physician Market Conference in Coral Gables, Fla.

Key takeaways discussed with industry leaders included:

  • The consumer is now in charge. “The impact of high-deductible health plans is: delay, divert, and reduce,” commented John Becker, Sg2. “If I spend my own money for health care, I make different decisions.” 

    Larry Kaiser, MD, Temple University Health System, observed that due to rising consumerism, “The centrality of medical care is no longer the inpatient setting.” Shaun Ginter, CareWell Urgent Care, also characterized the future of healthcare as an “on-demand, consumer-driven” model which “includes retail health, urgent care, and telehealth.”
  • Clinicians need to understand product costs. Understanding the cost of healthcare is vital for physicians as consumers take greater control. “Clinicians don’t know what things cost—and they need to know,” said Laura Kowalczyk, UAB Health System. Thomas Eppes, MD, Central Virginia Family Services, was upbeat on doctors’ abilities to help consumers once they better understand costs, adding, “Physicians are scientists. You give us the data and, ultimately, we’ll do the right thing.”
  • Providers need to harness data better. Helping providers analyze and interpret their data is a key opportunity for supply chain partners. Laura Kowalczyk remarked, “We have a lot of data but not a lot of ways to connect that data so it becomes actionable—that’s something our partners can help us with.”

    Paul Farnin, Cardinal Health, highlighted the potential for leveraging distributors’ provider utilization data. “Our customers want to use technology for 24-7 visibility to what actually gets consumed in clinical departments,” he added.
  • The volume-to-value transition isn’t easy. During the conference, John Becker commented, “It’s hard for IDNs to manage conflicting incentives—some contracts are fee-for-service, which means ‘do more,’ and some are risk-based, which means ‘do less.’” As a result, he noted that most providers “are trying to concentrate in one camp or the other.”

For more information on these and upcoming HIDA Market Conferences, please visit