The Quote of the Conference: What We Heard at HLTH

Talk to anyone who went to last week’s HLTH Conference and you will hear about its sheer size and ambition – 6,000 attendees charged with changing the future of health in four days. The breadth of the conference meant attendees could explore themes and solutions across the healthcare ecosystem – not just those related to our own work, but those that other stakeholders brought forward for consideration.  The packed agenda exposed us to a vast array of products, solutions, ideas, hypotheses, partnerships, and calls to action.  Some felt cutting edge: making precision medicine – therapies tailored to our genetic make-up -- affordable and even routine.   Some felt essential:  Taking advantage of ubiquitous technology to deliver care to remote locations where access is lacking.  But while stakeholders may have approached the challenges of healthcare from many different angles, their commonality of purpose was clear.

Maybe that’s why, for me, the quote of the conference was “It’s not complicated, it’s just really hard.”  We were three days in when Crossover Health’s CEO Scott Shreeve spoke these words to a packed room of employers, vendors, providers and policymakers.  He was describing his organization’s journey with Comcast NBCUniversal to build out an expanded, comprehensive preventive care structure for all of Comcast’s US employees. The concept is simple – getting more people to access quality preventive care will improve population health and reduce healthcare expense -- it’s just really hard to do.  But they’re doing it. 

To figure out this really complicated thing we call health, we must aspire to simplify – to break it down into a series of problems we can solve with enough hard work and creativity.  We’ll be highlighting some of the innovative projects employers discussed at HLTH here on the blog, starting with Kate Brown’s report.  Read and be inspired! 

Peter Kilmartin
by Peter Kilmartin

Partner, US Consultant Effectiveness Leader, Mercer Health & Benefits

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