If we want to get more affordable care, we have to get the cost of care per person less expensive. The way to do that is to drive more focus and attention on wringing out excess and waste. The next step is to get consumers to change. – Oliver Wyman’s Terry Stone in Managed Care Magazine
The September 2015 issue of Managed Care Magazine features an in-depth article on the evolution of the Affordable Care Act in which Terry Stone, Oliver Wyman’s managing partner for Health & Life Sciences, provides perspective on remaining challenges and the impact of the law on the industry as a whole.
In “The ACA as a Survivor,” Stone explains how many people who lost their jobs during the recession have continued to struggle with health insurance. “They don’t qualify for Medicaid and they are not poverty stricken enough to necessarily qualify for big subsidies,” she says in the article. “They are the ones who incur more cost personally when they go to the doctor and are not covered. How do we get them care and coverage?”
While the affordability issue needs to be addressed, she observes that “I think that we’re in the messy early stages….I don’t think people should despair over whether every aspect of the ACA is perfect. It’s just the starting stages. If we focus on the ultimate goal there are ways to get there.” The trend of consolidation in the insurance industry, she further notes, is driven mostly by the need to reduce administrative costs, identify synergies, and gain efficiencies.
However, she says, fundamental change in the system won’t be realized until consumers share more responsibility for their own health. “If we want to get more affordable care,” she says, “we have to get the cost of care per person less expensive. The way to do that is to drive more focus and attention on wringing out excess and waste. The next step is to get consumers to change.”