A record number of attendees, representing the entire healthcare ecosystem, recently gathered in Las Vegas for the annual HLTH conference, an event described as Coachella for healthcare enthusiasts. The energy – as shared through news stories, social media posts, and text messages – was palpable, even for those unable to attend in person.
To keep the enthusiasm alive, we asked Arrive Health attendees to highlight what they thought were some key themes of the event. Here’s what they said:
Health equity remains in the spotlight
HLTH elevated the importance of health equity by dedicating an entire stage to discussions about what the industry can do to address health disparities and access. Speakers celebrated key achievements such as digital health tools that have helped patients overcome transportation barriers to care. However, many noted that the work doesn’t stop with one success. Speakers agreed that the next generation of solutions must put patients first and embrace the notion of whole-person care if they are to drive widespread impact on affordability, accessibility, and outcomes.
It was also on this stage that executives from Optum Rx announced their decision to add up to three Humira biosimilars to their formulary to “make a dent in rising specialty drug costs.” Optum noted that by offering biosimilars, patients will have greater choice at lower costs.
Healthcare costs are under the microscope
It’s no secret that healthcare costs are rising and that more of these costs are being passed on to consumers. In particular, prescription costs – and pharma’s role in those costs – were under scrutiny. While numerous conversations highlighted the cost of medications and patients’ struggles to afford them, the topic of price transparency was noticeably absent in most cases.
Sadly, today’s healthcare environment isn’t necessarily structured to support consumer choice and price transparency, with data living in silos and complexity around every corner. Still, legislative tailwinds are putting pressure on the industry, and recent innovations are creating an ecosystem in which transparency is possible. It’s likely that price transparency will be a continually evolving theme in the future, as it can play a significant role in patient adherence and the transition to value-based care.
AI and automation’s role in healthcare is still being defined
There were a variety of perspectives about how and when AI and automation should be used in healthcare. As one speaker commented, AI requires terabytes of data to succeed, and few (if any) startups have that kind of data. The question remains: will all of the new AI companies survive if they cannot demonstrate true value?
On the other hand, numerous organizations spoke about their work to automate manual processes and reduce physician burden, identify cures for disease, and streamline patient communications. Among many announcements, Dexcare publicized a new partnership with Kaiser Permanente to develop AI tools to improve capacity optimization and load-leveling services. There was clear alignment around the benefits of AI, and hopefully in the future, there will be many more examples of its successes.
With hundreds of presenters taking the HLTH stage, catching all of the action was nearly impossible. But one thing was clear – innovation in healthcare is not slowing down. Tech companies are continuing to receive investment to solve for equity and access, while policy is providing pressure to create a more transparent system. The current economic and societal landscape are also continuing to shift healthcare priorities as the workforce shortage calls for new innovations in automation, supply chain issues drive unpredictable challenges, and patients demand transparency into costs.
It’s time to shift to action
As a sponsor of the HLTH conference, Arrive Health was able to engage with many healthcare leaders to discuss solutions to some of their top-of-mind challenges. While industry collaboration is necessary to achieve true success, organizations can already leverage integrated technologies – like real-time prescription benefit – to present lowest-cost options, streamline provider workflows, and improve patient affordability.
The focus now must shift to action, while keeping HLTH’s conversations and collaborative mindset alive. Curious about exploring any of these themes with Arrive Health? Click here to schedule a time to talk with our team.