The Future of Healthcare:

Embracing Patient Centricity in the Trump Administration

Embracing Patient Centricity in the Trump Administration

In recent years, a renewed focus on the patient has sparked many changes in the healthcare industry. Beyond treatment development, many companies have begun modifying business plans to incorporate the patient earlier, and more comprehensively than ever before. This early patient involvement is enabling the development of more successful disease treatment.

Many federal incentives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prompted those changes.  As the future of the ACA remains unclear, and with the introduction of the American Health Care Act, many people are wondering about the future of patient centricity. Following Sean Spicer’s comment that the new healthcare bill would be a patient-centric bill, leaders have wondered about the changes stemming from this notion of patient-focused development.

Early Patient Engagement

Involving the patient experience, perspective, and budget early on in the development process has enabled companies to greatly expand their treatment model and design abilities.

This has enabled the patient to prioritize treatment aspects for themselves, “If we can identify early on, before the protocol or the trial development phase, how to make it easier for the patient to be compliant with the clinical trial requirements, we can ensure that participation in the trial isn’t a hardship for them. This type of information can be best understood through early conversations with patient groups,” says Anne Crop, Vice President and Head of Clinical Excellence at Pfizer.

Priority-centered treatment programs encourage patient advocacy groups and industry leaders to collaborate in facilitating a higher level of quality of life while focusing on treatment success. Increased patient engagement may also ensure that adequate trial design feedback can be applied to therapy programs, “Talking to patients directly can benefit clinical trial design because investigators may think about issues in a new way based on what patients are telling them,” explained Jean McCoy, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Health Advocacy Strategies. By changing drug and treatment development to earlier incorporate the patient, pharmaceutical manufacturers are increasing their abilities to create better, more successful disease treatments.

Patient Collaboration

By focusing collaboration efforts towards informing the patient of diseases, treatments, and drug abilities, companies are helping patients receive the correct therapy. Michael Narachi, CEO of Orexigen Therapeutics explained, “The end goal of every product is that they actually make it to the patient, which is rare. Patients don’t get the correct therapy because they’re not aware of the drug.”

The importance of informing a patient, and enabling that patient to discuss drug options with their healthcare provider is pertinent to a patient receiving the best drug for their disease and lifestyle. Narachi explained that focusing not only on patient needs, but real-life abilities and everyday limitations is an important facet to creating a patient-focused treatment while securing successful treatment outreach, “Patients may mostly care that they can go to work or play a game with their kids.”

Alternative Payment Models

The transition to a patient-centered treatment system is not complete without a focus on patient-centered costs. In recent years, many patient-focused initiatives have involved cost-cutting measures which ensure a lighter bill for all stakeholders. Federal programs have been developed as a way for treatment centers, specifically, to test this system, which has enabled higher quality treatment as well.

Pharmaceutical companies as well have engaged in this model, streamlining production costs to deliver high quality therapies in shorter timeframes at a lower cost. Placing patient and payer financial abilities at the center of this business model has helped the pharmaceutical industry access early payer engagement and insurance coverage, securing a successful market for a specific product.

Patient involvement and focus, as a support model, is gaining the attention of payers, many of whom have joined alternative payment model plans to continue patient-centered treatment and outcome-driven therapy. This is creating positive payer-provider relationships and increasing patient access to care.

The Future of Patient Centricity

As the new administration continues to take shape in 2017, many leaders are wondering where and if patient-centricity will continue to mold the healthcare industry. Following the introduction of the American Health Care Act, Sean Spicer acknowledged that although the bill would differ greatly from the Affordable Care Act, patient-centered care would continue to be a priority for lawmakers moving forward.

While the American Health Care Act has since been pulled from congressional vote, some aspects of the bill hinted at a continued future of patient-centricity. Most notably, Mr. Spicer explained that the bill may have offered patients and care providers more options than the Affordable Care Act. This increase in care options may be a continuing factor for future healthcare legislation.

Patient-Centricity is changing healthcare business models, and enabling stakeholders to save money while developing and receiving higher quality treatment. To stay up to date on new rules, regulations and policies under the new administration, medical industry leaders can gather at conferences or join our mailing list for regular updates.