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Wellsource Blog

Predictions for 2018: Disney-Inspired Solutions for Better Health Care

February 21, 2018

Ever wonder how we’re going to improve health care? It’s not exactly the cheeriest subject to discuss when chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer are among the leading causes of death. But maybe a trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” can help.

Walt Disney could have been speaking on behalf of health care when he said, “I believe in being an innovator.” But just 90 years after he and his brother Roy produced the first in a series of avant-garde animated films, his legacy was falling behind.


Disney inspired healthcare in 2018

The solution: “A sweeping plan to overhaul the digital infrastructure of Disney's theme parks, which would upend how they operated and connected with consumers.”

Health care isn't exactly Disney. But some of the same principles apply:

Prediction 1: More focus on the patient experience

Despite continued uncertainty about the future of the healthcare delivery system in the United States, the concept of value-based care will continue to be its heartbeat.

In the words of Fortune magazine author Clifton Leaf, value is “the one idea to rule them all.”

Fee-for-service is the payment model many organizations are using.  But the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) continues to put “a strong focus on patient-centered care” in their value-based 2018 payment structure. Reimbursements are aimed at helping healthcare providers “direct their time and resources to patients and improve outcomes.”

Think of it like Disneyland creating a better experience for its guests.

Prediction 2: More innovation, efficiency, restructuring

A patient-centered, value-based focus will bring more innovation and efficiencies to the industry, as well as some more restructuring. Look for 2018 to bring:   

Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway sent shockwaves through the healthcare sector when they announced plans to form a new healthcare company. No doubt there are more changes on the near horizon.

What’s that kind of company going to look like? It’s hard to say just yet, but the buzz is already on par with Disney’s Star Wars Land set to open in 2019.

Prediction 3: More partnerships to achieve population health objectives

As health care struggles with value-based, patient-centered care, many executives and practitioners consider population health strategies of promoting health and preventing disease essential to their survival. Lifestyle medicine principles will become increasingly important as health insurers and providers attempt to keep members healthier.

The future of population health combines simple principles of healthy living with innovative approaches:

Lifestyle medicine helps practitioners deliver optimal outcomes among their populations. Innovative approaches can boost efficiency and effectiveness.

And in a climate of uncertainty, maybe a Disney-inspired approach to improve the patient experience is just what we need to improve population health and wellness.

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"Good health is your greatest asset. You will never regret a decision to take better care of your health."

Don Hall, DrPH, CHES, Founder Wellsource