Retail Medicine Syncs with High-Deductible Health Plans

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , February 25, 2014

That is opening up more opportunities for retailers. Everybody is trying to figure out how to engage the consumer differently. Healthcare models should be putting the consumer at the center of the system as opposed to having them running around through a fragmented environment. Because of that, organizations are trying to figure out how to better engage with consumers and obviously retailers have a great way of doing that, whether it's because of their physical footprint with their storefront or even through their e-commerce presence.

HLM: Do traditional providers understand that retails could pose significant competition?

Connolly: We think this is powerful and we are on the verge of a significant turning point for healthcare and as Vaughn says it's with the consumer at the center. You mentioned the impact of being on high-deductible plans. We are seeing that every day. We're also seeing that employers are trying to be savvy about getting value and they're trying to teach their employees to be much better about shopping for value in healthcare.

To the question about traditional players in the health industry, we see it running the gamut right now. There are some very innovative leading edge companies in the health industry that are using Facebook and [other] social media to connect with their customers.

They are starting to push out price information because they know that transparency is important to consumers. They are using their data analytics to push population health. But there are many other providers that are frankly just trying to keep up quarter-to-quarter right now and they are still a little stuck in the fee-for-service model. They are going to have to find a way to make this transition or there is the risk they may get left behind.

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