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MedCity News connected with Global Health Leader at EY, Aloha McBride, to share details on the company’s upcoming survey on what consumers are looking for in value-based care.

MedCity News Katie Adams: Hello and welcome to the Vibe at ViVE. I’m Katie Adams, a reporter with MedCity News, and I’m here with Aloha McBride, Global Health leader at EY. I know that EY is soon to release its value-based care consumer survey and I was hoping you could share some trends with us, specifically in terms of consumer demand for telehealth and convenience.

Aloha McBride: Absolutely. We did this study across six countries, targeted at consumers to get their perspective on what they value in health. We hear a lot about the payers and the providers really focused on value-based care but we really wanted to hear from the consumers in terms of what they want and what they value. So I would say first off:

  • Access is absolutely number one really important to consumers, which isn’t a huge surprise.
  • We know that cost efficiency and effectiveness of health systems people are really starting to take note of how much they’re spending and they’re seeing the cost increase.
  • And then lastly, really interesting I think, is they really want and value their health for what they love to do — if that’s hiking or spending time with their kids or whatever that may be, it’s important to them. They really do also feel that from a responsibility of who is in charge of their health. They take it as an individual view. Over 68% said ‘I’m in charge of my health’ and 38-39% saying, ‘No, the doctor’s in charge of my health’ so there’s a little bit that I think you might find it interesting.

I can talk a little bit more about what we saw in terms of adoption if you’d like. So one of the things that we will note and maybe not surprising to this audience and I’m speaking from the U.S survey, is that most people, I’m talking 78-80%, still prefer in-person care and they really value that for a number of things:

  • The ability to resolve an issue kind of at the first try.
  • The ability to show a doctor, a clinician what’s bothering them.
  • Also when they think about the personal relationship that they have with the clinician, they believe that in-person connection is much stronger than it would be in a virtual visit.

That being said, if you flip to the other side where they’re valuing virtual, they really do value virtual for cost and convenience, which isn’t surprising. However, I think when we think about outcomes and access and costs we really do have an opportunity to think about virtual care differently and to really think about that experience differently. Because I do think there’s a lot of opportunity for us to look at integrated care models, transform them, think about digital, virtual and inpatient in a way that really does make sense for both the clinician and the consumer, so lots of work ahead.

MedCity News: Consumers don’t seem fully sold on telehealth yet but it’s still so much greater than it was before the pandemic. It has so much potential to free up staff, reduce costs, improve patient outcomes so what changes does the healthcare industry need to make in order to successfully integrate in-person care into its model for good?

Aloha McBride: Yeah, it’s a great question and we hear a lot of our clients asking that and I would say a couple of things.

  • First off, know your patient base, really know them. Understand who they are, how they like to live, what they prefer, what kind of conditions they have —really micro segment your population. Because with that, I think you have the data in your hands to really understand the kind of personalized care pathways you need to think about that incorporate the digital virtual and in-person into the equation. So when a person does prefer virtual, as an example you can see from a clinical standpoint whether it is appropriate or not and give them a choice when you think it’s best for their health.
  • And also I think the health systems really need to think about their operating models. We didn’t all of a sudden blossom into virtual care off the bat. We’ve been doing it for a long time but now we’re trying to do it at scale. So that means you’re going to have workforce changes in terms of who’s being staffed and what role in new roles. You’re going to have changes to your supply chain, you’re going to have changes obviously to your IT infrastructure, you’re going to have changes to your culture and your training approach so not everybody should be a screen side clinician. Maybe we haven’t really examined that too much, but I think it’s a good question to ask. Certainly, from a training standpoint, lots of other industries use virtual in consumer-oriented ways and the health systems can and the payers as well can learn from that, so lots of great opportunities in the future.

MedCity News: Great, thank you. I want to get your take on one more thing having to do with the overall business environment. There’s so much market uncertainty, there’s Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, continued high interest rates, as a healthcare expert, how are you reacting to this information and how are you handling it?

Aloha McBride: Well, so maybe not so popular but I’m really excited actually because it’s really driving a transformative view that we can’t continue where we are. And it’s allowing people the time and space to say, ‘Okay we’re going to change, we’re going to transform our care models, we’re not going to do the same thing that we’ve always done’. And probably, more importantly, with that comes a realization that from an investment in innovation, they really need to look at their ecosystem and understand what partners they have in that ecosystem because they can’t buy and build everything. We know that health systems are really looking at who they’re partnering with, why and what those relationships need to look like. Some of our clients are even saying, ‘Do we need a chief ecosystem officer?’ Honestly, we talk about that with them relative to how a PE might think about that and their portfolio and those relationships that are super critical and strategic and how they’re managing them, versus those that maybe are more transactional or temporary. So I think that is coming more and more to the forefront and that’s exciting to me, that means real change.

MedCity News: Thank you for explaining your excitement and thank you so much for your time today. I hope you enjoy the rest of the conference.

Aloha McBride: Thank you so much Katie.