"We want to use digital tools to build long-term relationships with individuals in communities we serve in order to empower them to improve their health by seamlessly integrating personalized health and wellness into their everyday digital experience and throughout their healthcare journey," he told investors.
Adventist Health System at least conceptually is going a step farther. CEO Terry Shaw described to investors his intent to make sure every person who seeks care within the system is never considered to be discharged from its care and will not need to figure out where to get care. "If we are truly to never discharge a patient, then we must develop programs, services, platforms and a culture that connects with and serves the consumer's needs regardless of their location or condition," he said.
Toward that goal, the Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based system this summer will launch HelloWell, a healthcare management tool that lets patients message providers, participate in virtual visits, access their medical records and schedule appointments, among other tasks.
Health insurers and others are also looking to tap into patients' desire for more clarity and customer service.
For Humana, which just last year at this time was fighting to merge with Aetna, the future is home healthcare and remote monitoring. The Louisville, Ky.-based insurer's CEO, Bruce Broussard, touted the benefits of Humana's recent investment in 40% of Kindred Healthcare, a home health services provider.
As the population of people living with chronic diseases increases, Humana hopes its investment in home healthcare will help it keep Medicare Advantage seniors healthy and prevent the conditions they already have from getting worse. Moreover, Humana, which spends $750 million per year on home healthcare, is eying an opportunity to lower those costs by bringing home health services in-house through its Kindred connection, rather than outsourcing as it does now.
"The home offers not only a way for us to engage with our members on a very specific and personalized basis to help them in monitoring their conditions, but also helping treat their conditions in an intervention," Broussard said.
Humana also is poised to capitalize on its remote-monitoring capabilities. Broussard said the company has put scales in the households of more than 2,000 members with congestive heart failure, so it can monitor and predict weight gain—an indication in those patients that a heart attack is on the way.
At the same time, technology-driven insurer upstart Oscar Health, New York, which this year expanded into exchanges in six states from three in 2017, estimates it will serve 260,000 individual and small business plan members in 2018, up from 100,000 last year, despite still not having made a profit.
Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser said the company's high-deductible, narrow network plans, coupled with the use of telemedicine and Oscar's "concierge" team to help the patient find a doctor or pharmacy, will help lower costs.