America’s health-care system is no doubt among the world’s best if the country’s life expectancy is anything to go by. The U.S. average life expectancy in 2015 was 78 years, according to World Health Organization. Life expectancy is an important indicator used to gauge the overall health of a community.
Questions about America’s spending on health care abound. For instance, why would a country like Japan, which spends roughly half of what the U.S. spends on health care per capita, have a higher average life expectancy figure? Japan’s average life expectancy in 2015 was 83 years, five years higher than that of America.
The discrepancy between America’s spending on health care and the quality of the health-care system boils down to inefficiencies that can be addressed by inventions and innovations. The people (innovators and entrepreneurs) who are famed for challenging the status quo, however, steer clear of the health-care industry, at least many of them. They cite systemic challenges, inherent in the health-care system, which favor legacy players at the expense of new players. With little to no competition, legacy players are not forced to churn out innovations to remain competitive.
CVS Health’s reactions to Amazon’s entry into health care appropriately show how competition (whether real or perceived) can benefit the health-care industry. Worried that its business may be at stake, CVS embarked on a couple of strategies to gain a stable footing in the industry. The strategies include the purchase of Aetna, a leading health-care insurer, and the introduction of the quicker countrywide delivery system. CVS Health (a pharmacy benefits manager) is likely to launch a charm offensive against its consumer. In the long run, this may result in the lowering of the cost of prescription medications, routine care, and other health-care services under CVS’s roof.
Bettering the health-system requires the efforts of different professionals focusing on various challenges of the sector. Drew is concerned with health data and its current restricted availability. Drew Madden‘s innovative electronic medical records solutions are likely to make health data readily available to innovators to create value. Drew Madden is a health-care IT entrepreneur and the co-founder of Evergreen Healthcare Partners.
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