We Need to Push the Pause Button

The following is an excerpt from Navigant Healthcare’s Pulse Weekly. Click here for a complete copy of this week’s article.

The healthcare industry headlines these days are filled with news of big deals, big laws, complicated regulations, the successes of its major corporations and promises of its startups.

Reporters usually contextualize their stories under the prominent transformational themes of our day…the shift from volume to value, transparency, innovation, consolidation, consumerism and health reform. And their features and reporting draw readers and viewers, online and old school. I am a voracious consumer of their insights, and it never gets old.

But sometimes, those of us who are knee deep in this discourse about the new normal forget what’s more important. Healthcare is an industry that serves individuals and families, often in times of their greatest need.

This weekend at the Hannah and Friends 12th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic in Charleston SC, I hit the pause button, not because it was a slow news week. As today’s Pulse Weekly reflects, it was a busy week in the industry, but my pause was due to Hannah.

Hannah Weis is autistic. Maura and Charlie Weis learned their daughter was not going to live a normal life, so they determined to make sure she’d live a full life. The residential program they started, and its plans for expansion, are not predicated on the Affordable Care Act, private equity investment or a strategic plan crafted with the aid of paid consultants.

Hannah and Friends is about the moment a parent learns their child, like Hannah, will live in a world that’s incomprehensible. At first, it’s fearful, then its life altering implications start to sink in. The daily routine for moms, dads, their sons and daughters is suddenly and permanently changed.

Autism impacts 1 in 88 kids. Its origin is unclear. Its cure unknown. Its cost, at $3.2 million for the child’s wellbeing daunting even for those who might be able to afford it.  Insurers vary in who they cover and how they assess the treatments they reimburse. Pediatricians vary in how they diagnose and states vary in how they organize services and fund programs for many. The path forward is uncertain but the resolve no less intense.

Hannah is happy. She loves her school and is learning alongside her friends who share with her the challenge of autistic disorder spectrum conditions.

We need to be reminded about the Hannah stories in our industry. No doubt, we have some legitimate issues that bear attention, but occasionally, we need to hit the pause button.

Paul

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Navigant Consulting, Inc. The information contained in this article is a summary and reflects current impressions based on industry data and news available at the time of publication. Any predictions and expectations noted herein are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this article. Navigant undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in the article.

©2015 Navigant Consulting, Inc.