As a small business owner this issue is close to my heart. I provide healthcare for my employees. The team is small and virtual. Unfortunately, there are few healthcare options for a small business like mine. When I moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania, the healthcare coverage for my company was canceled. Coverage is governed by state policies. While technology enables virtual teams, healthcare options for a virtual workforce are limited. Policies are designed for large companies and teams that are co-located within a state's boundaries. It took three months to find a new plan. The journey was frustrating; and in the end, the options few. My policy is not cheap. Each employee costs me $12,000 per year to insure.
Healthcare reform is a hot potato. It is passed from House to Senate to State Legislatures; but to no avail. As costs skyrocket, little changes; yet we have the same debates. As a supply chain person, I see it as a broken value chain which needs fixing. Rhetoric creates divides, not answers. Today's design of the healthcare system is on efficient sickness. This includes hospital check-in, triage, administer services, check-out, and payment administration. If I had a magic wand I would shift the focus to health and wellness with a clear focus on the patient, with a shift in focus from the hospital to the home. Let me explain my logic. Chronic disease (a condition lasting for more than three months) drives 85 percent of today's healthcare expense. Over the next decade, it will get worse not better. Leading the list of chronic diseases are cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Eighty-eight percent of Americans over 65 years of age have at least one chronic health condition; and 25 percent of adults in the United States have two chronic diseases. The root issue is lifestyle. Health damaging behaviors - smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and poor eating habits - are major contributors. I would like better healthcare coverage for my employees at a lower cost. Healthcare costs stunt business growth. I feel that I am not alone. I think that this cannot happen unless we wage a war on chronic disease. In this blog post I outline some steps which could be taken through supply chain redesign to change the system.
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