“The wireless health industry needs to focus more on lower cost solutions,” West Wireless Health Institute CEO Don Casey told MobiHealthNews during an interview at the Wireless Life-Sciences Alliance this week. “Instead, the industry is too focused on leveraging specific technologies to deliver a wireless data set that only increases utilization of the system and therefore costs. If we are able to offer lower costs solutions, our market won’t be 100 percent reliant on CMS coming out with reimbursement codes,” Casey said.
Casey said that low costs solution were likely to come from developing markets. Large, self-insured employers in the US, however, are also likely to push the industry in that direction too. Also, intergrated delivery care providers like Kaiser Permanente and Intermountain Healthcare would also be very interested in these types of solutions.
“The biggest problem in healthcare today isn’t access to care or quality of care,” Casey said. “It is cost. Until we focus on cost-based problems, we will continue to run into roadblocks.”
“As far as I can tell, with health reform we did not add any new hospitals or doctors or other care providers. We did, however, add 15 million to 25 million new people into the healthcare system,” Casey said. “On top of that aging baby boomers will demand more care from the system.”
Casey believes that now is the time to offer low cost solutions that appeal to payers. Payers, after all, will soon be (or already are) fielding calls from large employers who are looking to reduce healthcare costs. The window of opportunity for engaging payers may be short.
“I think we have the opportunity to get in front of payers for the next 12 to 18 months,” Casey said. “We have the opportunity to shape wireless health solutions for them. If we haven’t adequately addressed the needs of the payer in that time frame, they will fund their own solutions. We will then go from an offensive position to a defensive position. We’ll go from a proactive stance to a reactive one.”