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Disruptive Healthcare Innovations Trump SCOTUS Worries

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, June 8, 2012

I spent Wednesday afternoon in a couple of informal meetings with hospital and health system CEOs and CMOs. We talked about a lot of things, and of course, some of our conversation centered around the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare; you decide the terminology).

Most of us assume that the decision hangs like the sword of Damocles over the heads of healthcare leaders, employers, and indeed, the entire economy. It's difficult to argue with that assessment.

Even though I expected a predictable answer in that vein, I had to ask the questions: Are they handicapping how the ruling might go? Are coming up with contingency plans? Most agree the ruling will have a big effect on the global healthcare industry, but that in their day-to-day-lives, it largely won't affect the 180-degree shift they're making in reimbursement philosophy.  For most systems, those changes are taking place largely at the behest of commercial plans and local employers.

But when you ask one question, you might get an interesting answer about something else entirely. That's the way my sources for this off-the-record conversation surprised me. They agreed they are much more concerned about disruptive innovation than what nine people in black robes are going to say at an indeterminate date sometime this month.

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