'Shaping' Healthcare Delivery

Nov 20, 2012 2:30 PM ET

Last week I was invited to represent GSK at an event hosted by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease on Capitol Hill to share our commitment to providing our employees with healthcare that is higher quality, while lowering cost.We're doing this through a program called North Carolina First in Health. WellPoint, as well as a leading health policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, also weighed in with their expertise.This is obviously a 'hot topic' as the room was filled to capacity--standing room only.

In the US healthcare costs are experiencing exponential growth.The real driver behind this problem is the epidemic of chronic disease, which accounts for 75% of the total costs each year.The US healthcare delivery system is set up to deliver acute care--which is very episodic, reactive and volume based.

However, if we want to control healthcare costs, we need to do a better job of directly addressing the management of chronic disease, which means our care delivery should be more coordinated, connected, proactive, and population based.

GSK began a program for our NC employees in January 2012 to provide a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) in partnership with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC).The program is called North Carolina First in Health.It champions the PCMH model, which we believe is critical to reforming our Healthcare System in the US.Patient Centered Medical Homes offer team-based, holistic care, with a focus on care management.

We're proud to take part in the important movement to shift our healthcare system to a better place.By offering our employees a quality-based healthcare PCMH experience we're a part of something so much larger.Thanks to healthcare reform demonstration projects like this one, that are taking place all over the country, we're beginning to push toward the 'tipping point' for a new value based healthcare system.

We're also realistic.This care delivery system won't just take over tomorrow.Providers must be trained differently, payers must provide incentives that reward value, and patients must take more responsibility for their own health.We also believe patients should receive the right incentives for making those smart choices.But we are moving in the right direction.Demonstrations like this give us a chance to evolve toward value.