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Alere's Dr. Gordon Norman Provides Insights Into Putting The Nation's Broken Healthcare System 'Back Together Again'

ATLANTA, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Like all the King's men in the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme, U.S. healthcare leaders are searching for ways to put our fractured healthcare system "back together again."  That fact and analogy are focal points of a presentation by Gordon Norman, MD, chief innovation officer for Alere, at the Seventh Annual Healthcare Unbound Conference, July 19-20 in San Diego.  

Dr. Norman's presentation will highlight the various participants within the healthcare industry – physicians, state and federal legislators, attorneys, healthcare technology companies, courts, private investors and patients – and how complex and disparate the system has become, leading to higher costs and poorer outcomes ... in effect, a broken system.

"Never has the healthcare system been more complex, or more ineffective," says Dr. Norman. "If we are going to put the healthcare system back together, we have to find smarter ways to connect, empower, and better care for all of our citizens."

He notes key challenges facing our nation:

  • Medical cost inflation is two to three times that of general inflation.
  • Chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are proliferating for adults, and for the first time in history, children and adolescents may have a shorter lifespan than their parents.
  • Two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese; poor habits and lifestyle choices account for 60% of all deaths.(1)

Dr. Norman and his colleagues at Alere, a patient-centered health management company serving large employers, health plans, and provider organizations nationwide, believe a key solution is a return to patient-centric models of healthcare that focus on what patients want and need. His recommendation to the healthcare industry is to:

  • Enhance the ability of primary care physicians to manage their panel of patients through the use of technology to better connect and promote collaboration among expanded care teams
  • Help individuals make better choices and decisions through empowering technologies like remote monitoring, home diagnostics and interoperable health information exchange for electronic and personal health records
  • Reimburse care teams for positive outcomes rather than piecework, while linking patient out-of-pocket costs to healthy decisions and actions

Dr. Norman believes the solution to the current broken healthcare system will not come from monolithic changes imposed top down, but will emerge from bottom up regional health reform experiments at the state and local levels where employers, providers, and health plans can be more innovative, where multiple interests may be more easily aligned, and where political barriers, as well as status quo inertia, can be overcome.  

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