The start of a new year always brings promise; and as we enter 2018, we do so with the hope that it will be a year of great advancement in healthcare. HMS has the great honor and responsibility of helping to make our nation’s healthcare system more effective. We take this role on with determination, and execute it with the full force of our organization. When we look into the horizon there are a few key areas where we will take a leadership role to help advance our industry. Our approach to this endeavor involves our clients, our partners and the customers they serve. Let’s work together to fulfill this promise and tackle some of our nation’s greatest healthcare needs.
1. Remembering People.
Our business is complicated; it’s codified in thousands of pages of laws and regulations, it consumes hours of our daily news cycle, and it affects everyone in our country in different ways given the great disparities in healthcare access. Too often, we focus on the business of healthcare and lose site of the personal impacts. We all need to break down what we do to a personal level, articulate that value and push ourselves and our partners to engineer greatness. The trials of life often happen around healthcare, so we take this personally and want others to as well.
2. Finding Friends.
The healthcare ecosystem is enormous; there are considerable numbers of stakeholders, vendors, providers, payors and regulators. Achieving meaningful advances will require working together. There isn’t one vendor who can solve all of healthcare’s technology, process, and digital health needs. Creating an open model so solutions can be knitted together to better solve the big issues will enable our industry to move more rapidly. It’s time to understand the power of many is greater than one, the closed model system vendors will not win in the long game.
This isn’t just a concept for kindergarten. As leaders, we understand the value of reaching across and sharing data to better serve customers, make the healthcare experience better, reduce the waste and unnecessary costs, and help make healthcare more readily available to all. Today’s emerging technologies, such as Blockchain and AI, will make it easier to weave data together in artful and timely ways.
4. Protecting Your House.
We know that sharing data and information with partners creates risks. Widespread data breaches are now a daily occurrence in the U.S. To mitigate potential cyber risks, we will continue to make significant investments in cybersecurity and maintain our HiTrust certification. We challenge our vendors and partners to do the same. Managing our client’s data is paramount for trust; and healthcare organizations must elevate their security frameworks if we are to leverage technology to advance this industry.
5. Creating Friction.
This may sound a little contrarian, but we can’t accept the status quo. It’s important for all stakeholders to raise their voice, point out where agreements are being broken and where waste and costs can be eliminated. As consumers and healthcare leaders, it’s up to all of us to make some noise and cause healthy friction to help improve our industry.
6. Becoming “The Jetsons.”
We need not to be afraid to push the envelope in healthcare to leverage amazing technological advancements. Think about the many gadgets, apps, and technologies that have changed your life in the past decade. They are highly user centric and able to simplify processes. There is no reason for healthcare to lag behind other industries. With recent large-scale investments in digital health and the development of applications that increase the availability of information, choice, and service options, we are seeing big steps forward. We know we can all do more, so let’s kick it up a notch in 2018.
We wish the best to you in 2018. Let’s work together to realize the year’s promise while we proudly serve our customers.
Bill Lucia is HMS Chairman, President and CEO. Cynthia Nustad is HMS Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer.