John Lee, Executive Director of Aetna, addressed the benefits of implementing an accountable care ethic in countries across the globe. Accountable care, he explained,involves maximising value for patients, reducing the cost per capita, and overall, improving access to healthcare. John detailed that with a rise in ageing populations, spending is increasing, but value is not going up at the same rate, and so accountable care would be a viable solution that would address this imbalance.
Healthcare waste is being driven by excessive use of diagnostics, poor prescribing, errors and misaligned incentives
In the US, there are currently about 75 accountable care organisations, but waste in the health system is estimated at 25 per cent of the total spend. John extrapolated that this waste is being driven by excessive use of diagnostics, poor prescribing, errors and misaligned incentives – all of which affect patients.
As a solution, John suggested changing the incentive structure to prevent and share risk, which in turn would improve the quality of care, create sustainable savings and engage the workforce. Creating a culture to catalyse change empowers patients and families and ensures that incentives are aligned between both the provider and the payer. “The size of the price is really worth driving for, but the journey isn’t easy,” he said.